I Have Loved You
When I reflect how my life is going
then I find within me more that is true,
and more is at peace, for I have loved you,
because of you life’s beauty is flowing.
It seems love for you has been forever,
I wonder if perhaps there is still more,
murmurs, another time, a life before,
ere we knew love is with us forever.
We are kindred, it is in my spirit
I will love you for all eternity,
now I know that this love is friendship true.
Forever will I cherish, revere it,
love for all things is more precious for me,
e’en life itself is, for I have loved you.
The sonnet was created by Giacomo da Lentini, head of the Sicilian School under
Emperor Frederick II. Guittone d’Arezzo rediscovered it and brought it to Tuscany
where he adapted it to his language when he founded the Siculo-Tuscan School, or
Guittonian school of poetry (1235–1294). He wrote almost 250 sonnets. Other Italian
poets of the time, including Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) and Guido Cavalcanti (c.
1250–1300), wrote sonnets, but the most famous early sonneteer was Petrarch. Other
fine examples were written by Michelangelo.
The structure of a typical Italian sonnet of the time included two parts that together
formed a compact form of “argument”. First, the octave, forms the “proposition”, which
describes a “problem”, or “question”, followed by a sestet (two tercets), which
proposes a “resolution”. Typically, the ninth line initiates what is called the
“turn”, or “volta”, which signals the move from proposition to resolution. Even in
sonnets that don’t strictly follow the problem/resolution structure, the ninth line
still often marks a “turn” by signaling a change in the tone, mood, or stance of the
poem. Note that my ninth line does mark a turn from deep romantic love to an
everlasting love for a friend.
I have used the ABBA ABBA octave pattern which is the standard for Italian sonnets,
followed by a sestet of CDE CDE. For the sestet there were two different
possibilities: CDE CDE and CDC CDC. Petrarch typically used an ABBA ABBA pattern for
the octave, followed by either CDE CDE or CDC CDC rhymes in the sestet.
I know this information on a sonnet can be too technical, too dry, or downright boring to some,
but, I do hope you enjoyed reading my sonnet.
© 2018 Phyllis Doyle Burns