A Short Analysis of Thomas Wyatt’s ‘Whoso List to Hunt’

Posted: 03/05/2017 by vequinox in Literature

Interesting Literature

Sir Thomas Wyatt’s ‘Whoso List to Hunt’ is one of the earliest sonnets in all of English literature. What follows is the poem, followed by a brief introduction to, and analysis of, the poem’s language and imagery – as well as its surprising connections to King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Wyatt (1503-1542) probably wrote ‘Whoso List to Hunt’ some time during the 1530s, and the poem was published in the 1550s after his death.

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.

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