How might one interpret sonnet 10, "Some fowls there be that have so perfect sight," by Sir Thomas Wyatt?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Sonnet 10 by Sir Thomas Wyatt, “Some fowls there be that have so perfect sight,” is an extended metaphor in the tradition of the verse of courtly love. It is in the form of a Petrarchan sonnet, consisting of an octave (2 open couplets) focussed on the vehicle of the metaphor (types of birds) and sestet, focussed on the tenor of the metaphor (the lover/narrator). The three types of birds are daylight birds, night birds, and birds who like moths seek out bright flame or light but are blinded by it. He compares himself to the third type, attracted to the woman he loves, but she causes him so much unhappiness that he is blinded by tears when he thinks of her.

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