The Sonnet

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1850–1919
Alone it stands in Poesy’s fair land,
   A temple by the muses set apart;
   A perfect structure of consummate art,
By artists builded and by genius planned.
Beyond the reach of the apprentice hand,
   Beyond the ken of the unturtored heart,
   Like a fine carving in a common mart,
Only the favored few will understand.
A chef-d’oeuvre toiled over with great care,
   Yet which the unseeing careless crowd goes by,
A plainly set, but well-cut solitaire,
An ancient bit of pottery, too rare
   To please or hold aught save the special eye,
These only with the sonnet can compare.

Source: American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (The Library of America, 1993)

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Poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1850–1919

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Biography

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was born in Johnstown, Wisconsin and her poetry was being published by the time she graduated from high school. Her poetry was very popular, generally written in plain, rhyming verse. Her works include Poems of Passion (1883), A Woman of the World (1904), Poems of Peace (1906), Poems of Experience (1910), and Poems (1919).

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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