By Chet A. Creider, Jane Tapsubei Creider
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Extra resources for A grammar of Nandi
The introduction of a final couplet in the sonnet to summarise the theme or sharpen its concluding point indicates the more logical structure of Wyatt's poems, the injection of a more formal reasoning to modify the yearning other-worldliness of the Petrarchan mode. It forms part of a sharper awareness of reality, and there is often in his poems a lively sense of astonishment, almost of rebellion, when he observes, as though standing outside himself, the change wrought in him by love: What meaneth this?
With all their readiness to adopt the imported fashion for the greater sophistication it afforded in the articulation of emotional experience, temperamentally the English were uncomfortable with the role of disconsolate weeper bewailing his lot and in fact responded more readily in this century to the Stoic philosophy, with its demand for equanimity in the face of misfortune. As a result, in the poems they did produce within the sonneteering mode, they were usually at their best when they resisted a collapse into self-pity, displaying instead a slightly mocking tone, an awareness, as it were, of the absurd condition of inferiority in which they unexpectedly found themselves as lovers and a desire at the very least to restore their dignity by a witty rejoinder to their disdainful mistresses.
Never are the judgements and ways of men like unto the judgements and ways of God, but contrary evermore unless they be taught of him. Similarly, Hugh Latimer, preaching against London, writes: The butterfly gloryeth not in her own deeds, nor prefereth the traditions of men before God's word; it committeth not idolatry nor worshippeth false gods. But London cannot abide to be rebuked, IN SEARCH OF A PROSE STYLE 33 such is the nature of man. If they be pricked, they will kick. If they be rubbed on the gale, they will wince.