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  • Date Submitted: 01/17/2014 10:31 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 72.4 
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Sonnet – William Shakespeare
CXVI.
The number defines the sonnet’s place in a sequence of sonnets. Although, you may determine this reading on its own individual term, but realize the connection it has to other poems in the cycle.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.
Form is one of the first things you should note about a poem. Here it is easy to see that the poem is fourteen lines long and follows some sort of rhyme scheme (which you can see by looking at how the final words in each line). The rhyme of words makes a connection between them. Our first rhyme combination is “minds/finds.” What do you make of this pairing of words?
The first phrase (in this case a full sentence) of the poem flows into the next line of the poem. This is called enjambment, and though it is often made necessary by the form of the verse, it also serves to break up the reader’s expectations. In this case, the word “impediments” is placed directly before the bleak and confusing phrase “love is not love,” itself an enjambment. How does this disconnection between phrase and line affect the reader? How does it emphasize or change the lines around it?
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
Notice all of the repetition or use of similar words in the last two and a half lines. When close reading a poem, especially a fixed verse form like the sonnet, remember the economy of the poem: there’s only so much space at the poet’s disposal. This makes repetition very important, because it places even more emphasis on the repeated word than does prose. What does the repetition in these lines suggest? Also, note that we’ve come to the end of our first quatrain (four-line stanza): usually the first stanza of a sonnet proposes the problem for the poem. What is this problem?
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown,...

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