Are the lines in this sonnet by Petrarch, are an example of an octave, sestet, quatrain or couplet? Sonnet follows with more explanation. Sonnet referred to: You who hear the sound, in scattered rhymes, of those sighs on which I fed my heart, in my first vagrant youthfulness, when I was partly other than I am, I hope to find pity, and forgiveness, for all the modes in which I talk and weep, between vain hope and vain sadness, in those who understand love through its trials. Yet I see clearly now I have become an old tale amongst all these people, so that it often makes me ashamed of myself; and shame is the fruit of my vanities, and remorse, and the clearest knowledge of how the world's delight is a brief dream.   Doesn't appear to have a rhyming scheme. Thought at first that the first 8 lines were an octave and the second six were a sestet, but it may also be made up of two quatrains and three couplets. I believe it is a Petrarch Sonnet.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The lines you are quotes are taken from the first poem in Il Canzoniere by the Italian poet Francesco Petrarch. This book, titled Rime Sparse (Scattered Rhymes) or Il Canzoniere (Song Book), was written in Italian and consist of a group of relatively short love poems addressed to his beloved Laura. Most of the poems in the book, including the one you quoted, are sonnets. In fact, this is the book from which the Petrarchan (i.e. `pertaining to Petrarch’) sonnet got its name. What you are quoting, however, is not the Italian original but an English translation. In this particular case, the translator did not follow the original rhyme scheme. Instead, this is a fairly literal translation that does not preserve the meter or rhyme of the original.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial