For my second project, I decided to write a sonnet inspired by Sir Philip Sydney’s series of sonnets, “Astrophil and Stella”. In this poems, Astrophil seems to take a strong liking, possible obsession towards Stella. However, through the poems, it comes across as he is only interested in her physical appearance, rather than who she is as a person. To a modern day reader, this comes off as more misogynistic than romantic. For my sonnet, I wrote it in more modern-day like language but made sure to not use any modern day references to make it appear as if it was more ‘timeless’. I also decided to write in the perspective of Stella, as if she was writing back to Astrophil, trying to politely decline his interest in her.
Hope this finds you well, the words from my quill,
I must confess words that sit in my brain,
I know that it’s hard to swallow this pill,
This love is something I can no longer feign,
I can no longer hold back, I must spill,
Never meant to cause you any of this pain,
While our time together has been a thrill,
There is just nothing left for us to gain,
But oh my lovely, dearest Astrophil,
Hope that your sun is not replaced with rain,
For you will find love one day, but until—
I understand if you view with disdain,
I hope that passion remains in your heart,
Even in this hard time while we part
This was a bit of a struggle for me because poetry has never been one of my strong suits. I did not know exactly what made a sonnet a sonnet on the top of my head, so I had to do a quick Google search to refresh my memory on what makes a sonnet a sonnet. The main components seemed to be fourteen lines, ten syllables in each line, and iambic pentameter. The fourteen lines and the ten syllables I succeeded at. However, I struggled with the iambic pentameter and to be honest, I still do not fully grasp it, so it is most likely lacking from my sonnet. Whoops. Besides that, I do think that my sonnet came out alright.
My project responds to the question, “why does literature matter” because I think that it is important to consider other people’s perspectives, especially in literature. Texts are a way to get glimpses into different worlds and time periods. While maybe Astrophil’s point of view is interpreted by a modern reader as misogynistic, someone of that time period may have a different takeaway from it. Then, taking the poem and transforming it into Stella’s point of view as I did helps give another perspective. I have always found stories told in another character’s perspective than they were originally written in as interesting, so that’s why I decided to complete a sonnet in Stella’s point of view as my project.