My Galley, Charged with Forgetfulness

By Sir Thomas Wyatt 1503–1542 Thomas Wyatt

My galley, chargèd with forgetfulness,
Thorough sharp seas in winter nights doth pass
'Tween rock and rock; and eke mine en'my, alas,
That is my lord, steereth with cruelness;
And every owre a thought in readiness,
As though that death were light in such a case.
An endless wind doth tear the sail apace
Of forced sighs and trusty fearfulness.
A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain,
Hath done the weared cords great hinderance;
Wreathèd with error and eke with ignorance.
The stars be hid that led me to this pain;
Drownèd is Reason that should me comfort,
And I remain despairing of the port.

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Poet Sir Thomas Wyatt 1503–1542

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Nature, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Sorrow & Grieving, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Sir  Thomas  Wyatt

Biography

Born in Kent, England, Sir Thomas Wyatt was an ambassador to France and Italy for King Henry VIII. Wyatt’s travels abroad exposed him to different forms of poetry, which he adapted for the English language — most notably, the sonnet. Rumored to be Anne Boleyn’s lover, he spent a month in the Tower of London until Boleyn’s execution for adultery. Many consider his poem “Whoso List to Hunt” to be about . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Sorrow & Grieving, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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