Sir Thomas Wyatt Questions and Answers

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What is an explanation of Wyatt's poem "Forget Not Yet"?

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Jay Gilbert, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Supposedly, this is a sonnet written about Thomas Wyatt's failed suit for the hand of Anne Boleyn—who, of course, was to marry King Henry VIII and, later, was beheaded on his orders. The poet repeats the refrain "forget not yet," prevailing upon his beloved—who is now promised to another man—not to forget how true he has been in his attentions to her.

Wyatt depicts his pursuit of the beloved as an endeavor: it is a "travail" and it has made him "weary" to continue in this "suit" and "service." He also feels he has not been treated correctly in his pursuit—he has made "great assays" and has maintained a high level of patience even while his beloved has denied him even any closure—she has not said either yes or no, but has allowed him to continue trying to pursue her, while she herself has behaved rather scornfully towards the suitor. She has not understood, seemingly, that he truly loved her, has done so for a long time, and has never thought of anyone else—his mind has never gone "amiss."

In the final quatrain, the speaker describes his own love for his beloved as a "steadfast faith," as one might describe faith in God. He is saying that he has loved her purely and for a long time, never thinking about anyone else. Although he now knows that he can never have her, the speaker is prevailing upon his beloved never to forget how dedicated the speaker has been to her for all this time.

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One must always understand that any summary provided for a poem relies upon the reader's personal interpretation of the poem. What this means is most answers regarding poetry are answered subjectively.

Thomas Wyatt's poem "Forget Not Yet" was typical of his other poetry which dealt with the theme of love. Here, Wyatt wishes that his love will not forget the things which seemed to be etched in his own heart.

It seems that the relationship has come to a rocky point. Wyatt is reminding his love of the things in their life together which created and kept their love strong, to this point.

Strangely, at the end of the poem, Wyatt changes what he asks of his love. Instead of telling his love to "forget not yet" he tells her "forget not this."

Therefore, the movement of the poem is one of remembrance. Wyatt wishes his love to remember the good times and the bad times, the length of time they have been together, and the faithful love they share. Regardless of the past, he wishes that his love never forget the lengthy love they share. By ending the poem in this fashion, the length of their love is of the utmost importance and Wyatt hopes is contains the same importance for his love.

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erum-iram | Student

what IMAGERY is used in this poem?

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