This week's National Poetry Month honoree is Sir Thomas Wyatt. Famously known in Tudor lore as Anne Boleyn's lover, Wyatt was incarcerate in the tower during her trial and execution. Although five other men suffered the same fate as Anne, having been accused of adultery with the queen, Wyatt was eventually released by Henry VIII and continued to serve at his court.
During his lifetime, Wyatt filled many roles for his king, not the least of which was ambassador to France and italy. He was part of the party that petitioned the Pope for Henry VIII's annulment from Queen Catherine of Aragon. It was while traveling the continent in this role that he became familiar with Italian poetry forms, and is often credited with introducing the sonnet into the English language.
Wyatt never published during his lifetime. His poetry, was instead, a salve for a life that saw Wyatt unlucky in love and thrown many times into the Tower in service to his fickle king. Featured here is one of his sonnets, I Find No Peace, with one of the best opening lines ever.
I Find No Peace
I find no peace, and all my war is done.
I fear and hope. I burn and freeze like ice.
I fly aove the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I season.
That loseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not––yet can I scape no wise––
Nor letteth me live nor die at my device,
And yet of death it giveth me occasion.
Without eyen I see, and without tongue I plain.
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health.
I love another, and thus I hate myself.
I feed me in sorrow and laugh in all my pain.
Likewise displeaseth me both life and death,
And my delight is causer of this strife.
Sir Thomas Wyatt