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The Sonnet-Too White, Too Western?

Evidence to the contrary?

"da Lentini drew from Arabic poetry. This was unsurprising, for Sicily was at the confluence of the known world. By the thirteenth century, Sicily had had periods of rule by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Arabs, and Normans, with strong cultural influence from all of them."

"Kamal Abu-Deeb writes in Critical Survey that the sonnet has “schemes, or structures, that are variations… on structures of the muwashshahat produced by Arab poets,” "
Tue, 30 May 2023 12:10 pm
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Well, perhaps too early to say after reading Leonardo Malcovati's book "Prosody, In England & Elsewhere" and studying Shakespeare's attempts at Sonnet structures with an analytical eye.

It would seem the elasticity and eccentricity in terms of phonemes in the English language is difficult to quantify. I attempted a sonnet myself:

Shadows of Lowry

"Are they but figures of a light concealed
These shadows cast in flesh and bone?
Whose soul and purpose may yet be revealed
Within a frame of silhouettes unknown.
Strolling eclipsed within some frozen void
From what is stolen to some empty space,
They dare not raise their shiftless pace
Lest emptiness engulf what lies destroyed.
As shadows lengthen in their latter days,
Stretching beyond the sense of what they knew,
Embracing darkness in the light erased,
Just to imagine what might yet be true.
Now plodding slowly from point A to B
In their stylistic, dread monotony."

An attempt to look at Shakespeare's efforts did not exactly yield good results. The Sonnets Revisited:
How good a poet was “William Shakespeare” and have his fans and admirers simply overlooked the errors and poverty of style that some of it contains.

Thu, 24 Aug 2023 11:24 am
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Thanks for your reply, and for your sonnet Leonidas.
I have to say the tone of your last two lines reminds me of the words of Thomas Gray’s Sonnet:
“The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,”
I’ve not been to university-I’m mainly self-educated in writing and poetry, so feel poorly qualified to comment on Shakespeare’s work.

My question: “The Sonnet-Too White, Too Western?” was prompted by an article I read some months ago, which suggested that the Sonnet form should be withdrawn from an English university’s curriculum on those grounds.

Given what we now know about the development of spoken and written language in general, and about the Sonnet form’s assimilation into, and influence by many non-European cultures, including Hebrew, Hindi and Arabic, I view such a suggestion as idiotic, narrow-minded, and frankly, offensive.
I am, for want of a better word, “white”, I’m English, my mother tongue is British English, which is an Indo-European language for goodness’ sake!😏
Thanks again Leonidas.

Fri, 25 Aug 2023 10:56 am
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It's a subject I'm very interested in because as a child I grew up in Cyprus speaking Greek Cypriot, but due to the conflicts between the Greek and Turkish population my parents decided it would be safer to migrate to England. So, my journey into the English language began, I used signs and drew pictures to communicate to my teachers and fellow pupils at first and gradually learned English "parrot fashion". It was only later that I began to understand English dialectically (if that is a word?) as well as grammatically. English phrasing and syntax can be challenging to a foreign mind I think. So, how the Sonnet form migrated into English is well-documented (Surrey & Wyatt) were the first.
Fri, 25 Aug 2023 11:08 am
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