“Forget Not Yet”
Most of Sir Thomas Wyatt's poems focused on love and views of womanhood. Sir Thomas Wyatt's poem "Forget not yet" is a work in the style of Francesco Petrarch, the great Italian poet who wrote hundreds of poems about a desperate, obsessive male seeking to win the love of a virtuous woman who does not return his affection.
The first stanza is based around the desire of the speaker to commend himself to his lover as he talks about the many hardships he has faced and the sufferings he has endured to enable to recommend himself to her. In reference to the "great travail" or great labor the speaker has spent in trying to win the lady's affection (line 3). The speaker claims that his affection is the true affection (line 2). The fourth line refrain ‘Forget not yet’ emphasizes this desire. The request in the second stanza is for his lady not to forget when they first began this tired life of service, which no one really understands. The reference to his "suit" (wooing) and "service" in trying to win the lady is touching (line 7). The repetition of the phrase "Forget not yet" at the start and end of each stanza form a kind of refrain as the speaker fills the content of each stanza with proof of his devotion and love for his beloved and reasons why she should not "forget" the strength and depth of his love for her. Here in the third stanza, the lover is asked not to overlook the big criticisms, the mean injustices. It appears from the pleading tone that runs throughout this stanza that the speaker is trying to remonstrate with his lover and to try and encourage her to not dismiss him or end their relationship. The cruel treatment and the pain of waiting through delays in decision-making make him desperate man. So his lady has been "cruel" and "scornful" in rejecting his request. Line 12 is a repetition of line 4 again, and this serves to build up the negative issues, which the speaker is attempting to highlight. The appeal here in the...
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