Diction In English Poetry In Sir Thomas Wyatt's Poetry

Sir Thomas Wyatt, a 16th century poet, not only introduced the sonnet to English literature, but blended traditional and contemporary diction into his writing. In the Wyatt “made his career in the shifting, dangerous currents of Renaissance courts, and court culture, with its power struggles, sexual intrigues, and sophisticated tastes, shaped his remarkable achievements as a poet” (Norton 646). Yet, was Wyatt’s style of writing serendipitous? Did he intend to be satirical? Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poems, “I find no peace,” “What vaileth truth?” and “Divers doth use” illustrate a sardonic tone concerning courtly love and a lost truth and this is significant because many critics believe Wyatt’s writing style was unintentional.
Courtly love played
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“I feed me in sorrow, and laugh in all my pain. / Likewise displeaseth me both death and life, / And my delight is causer of this strife” (Wyatt 12-14). The mockery is vague, and not cunning, because Wyatt is attempted to grasp the complexity of love himself. Similarly, the settle, satirical style is evident in “What vaileth truth?”: “Deceived is he by crafty train / That meaneth no guile and doth remain / Within the trap without redress. / But for to love, lo, such a mistress, / Whose cruelty nothing can refrain” (Wyatt 10-14). The so-called “trap” equals the paradox. It is a trap that Wyatt keeps finding himself stuck in no matter how much is displeases him. Love and truth keep creeping upon him, which makes the satirical style direct and vital. Bates writes in his article that “Satire is satire not only because it attacks absurdity and vice but also because it alerts us to the incongruities inherent in a poet’s gesture of setting himself apart as an authoritative moral observer” (245). This is true in Wyatt’s poems because he incorporates his personal experiences. Thus, a possible reason many find his satire unintentional. Dolven meets halfway, and firmly believes, “Wyatt did not know what he was doing and that the something we are getting at has everything to do with style” (86). As much as I want to disagree, I see Dolven’s point. A writer’s style can still be visible even if the writer does not see nor want it. Take E.L. Doctorow for example. In an interview with The Paris Review, he said:
I don’t want a style… I think that the minute a writer knows what his style is, he’s finished. Because then you see your own limits, and you hear your own voice in your head. At that point you might as well close up shop. So I like to think that I don’t have a style, I have books that work themselves out and find their own voice—their voice, not mine. So I’ll have that

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