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Renaissance Poetry

Updated on November 22, 2012

Renaissance Poetry

Renaissance Poetry- Poetry of this time period reflects some of the common themes we often associate with poetry--love, death, or the passing of time. The Renaissance poets enjoyed attempting difficult poetic patterns to make their ideas fit into challenging styles, like a puzzle.

Three common poetic styles during the time included:

-->The Sonnet

-->The Pastoral


Sonnet- A 14 line poem, usually in lambic pentameter, that has one of several rhyme schemes.

-Two major sonnet forms--Italian and English

*Italian or Petrarchan:this style is made up of an octave and a sestet.

The Octave (8 lines)

*Rhyme scheme-- abba, abba

*Subject-- asks a question, presents a problem, or expresses an idea.

The Sestet (6 lines)

*Rhyme scheme-- cde cde, cdc cdc, or cdcdcd

*Subject-- Resolve, answers, or reinforces ideas in the octave.

English or Shakespearean--This Sonnet style is made up of three quatrains and a couplet.

*Quatrain (4 lines)

Rhyme scheme---abab cdcd efef

Subject--- expresses three related ideas.

*Couplet (2 lines)

Rhyme scheme-- gg

Subject-- sums up the poet's conclusion or message.

~Rhyme Scheme- The pattern of end rhyme in a line of poetry.

*Poetic Meter

- The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry.

~Parody- A piece of writing that makes fun in a light-hearted way to teach a lesson.


"The Passionate Shepherd" and "The Nymph's Reply" are examples of 2 other popular poetic forms --the pastoral and the carpe diem styles.

Pastoral--Works set in an idealized countryside and their characters are often blends of the naive and the sophisticated.

Carpe Diem-- "sieze the day", or today's current term "YOLO." Carpe diem is a literary theme that urges living in the present moment since we will all die someday.


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    • David Morrison profile image

      davidas 5 years ago from Far, Far Away

      No problem. As long as I'm alive, I'll keep posting. I'm glad that you found this interesting.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 5 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Interesting Information!!! Thanks for sharing!!!