“A Sonnet is a moment’s monument”

“A Sonnet is a moment’s monument”

Usually, getting a poem that explains the nature of sonnets is not an easy task. However, in a rare incidence, an Italian poet called Dante Gabriel Rossetti wrote “A Sonnet is a Moment’s Monument” which elaborates how poems (sonnet) look like regarding their form. Through this poem, Rossetti explains the form and style used in sonnets which differs from other normal verses. He also utilizes metaphors and imagery to ensure that the audience is acquainted with how sonnets are formed and how they deliver their message in bits. This paper outlines research regarding the poem written Rossetti while offering crucial aspects that distinguish it from other ordinary poems.

In the second line of the poem, the poet uses the term “memorial” to stand for the poet’s soul which will last forever. This means that it will be hard to forget the impact that the soul will have on earth. This aspect is further strengthened through the last two lines of the stanza to make a lasting impression on the reader’s mind. It is indicated that the sonnet will “sparkle” in the lives of those who read and recite it. Also, from the fourth line of the first stanza, the poet revisits the process followed by authors to appeal to the emotions of the readers. This way, the writers need to determine whether their poem would cleanse the audience’s souls or warns them against certain behaviours or actions.

The second half of the poem, also known as the sextet, affects the reading in various ways such as giving it a unique rhythm. It also impacts the sonnet’s meaning. The visual form and syntax used by the poet tend to pinpoint three critical themes that resonate with the audience (Wagner 74). These are the motive of death, sonnet’s purpose, and the optimistic as well as the lighter aims of poetry. In the first subject, which is clearly shown in the final couplet helps to explain how death robs one’s life. This is clear in the last line of the couplet which indicates “In Charon’s palm it pay the toll of Death” (“A Sonnet Is A Moment’s Monument” ). Although this poem ends with a couplet as seen in the Shakespearean sonnet, its structure generally resonates with that of the Petrarchan sonnet.

Furthermore, the unique style of the sonnet allows the writer to utilize punctuations, line breaks, and rhythm in a highly creative manner to pass the ideas to the reader. These aspects also ensure that the poem is memorable regardless of the irregular arrangement of stanzas which disobeys the rules of ordinary poetry. Rossetti’s style limits him to a strict rhyme scheme, which utilizes a general meter. Regarding the visual nature of the sonnet, the use of indentation is evident, and it helps in dividing the entire poem into three distinct sections.

In conclusion, “A Sonnet Is a Moment’s Monument” is a unique type of sonnet which explains the essence of a sonnet in passing essential messages to the readers. The poem stresses the need to have a clear motive when writing a verse since it has to appeal to the emotions of the audience and also serve the purpose of being an entertainment tool. This way, the readers’ attention will be drawn to the poem, and this will be a nice platform to understand the writer’s motives. Rossetti masters all these to write a short sonnet with couplets at the end summing up the sonnet.



Works Cited

“A Sonnet Is A Moment’s Monument.” Ronnowpoetry.com. N.p., 2019. Web. 7 Mar. 2019.

Wagner, Jennifer Ann. A Moment’s Monument: Revisionary Poetics and the Nineteenth-Century English Sonnet. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1996.