Classic English Love Poems (Study Guide)

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Study Guide for Classic English Love Poems Note: a few poems which are not in the public domain do not have links here. You`ll have to read them in a book. Shakespeare: Sonnet XXX What sorts of things does the poet say he thinks of during his sessions of sweet silentthought? Why do both pleasant and unpleasant memories make him unhappy? Howdo the final two lines reveal the real point of the poem? What effect does it produce to havepostponed this direct address so long while the poet detailed various sorts of suffering? Sonnet XVIII This is one of Shakespeare`s most famous poems, consisting of a critique of stereotypicalmetaphors for women`s beautiful features. What are the usual stereotypes, and how does hereverse or modify them? Ow`st means ownest orown, possess. This in the last line refers to thissonnet itself. What is the poet saying about his own power? Is this a flattering poem? Why orwhy not? Sonnet CXVI This poem tries to define true love. What qualities does such love have,according to the poet? A bark is a ship, so love is compared to a fixed star whichmay be steered by (a sailor would sight such a star`s altitude to aid in locating his ship`sposition on the sea), but its true nature is far beyond ordinary human knowledge. The sickleor scythe of time is a traditional symbol of death, or its approach. What twounlikely impossible things does the poet compare to the possibility of his being wrong aboutlove? Edmund Waller: Song Here is yet another in the long series ...

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