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Sonnet 30 (Fire and Ice) by Edmund Spenser

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Nicole D'Errico

on 13 February 2014

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Transcript of Sonnet 30 (Fire and Ice) by Edmund Spenser

Sonnet 30 (Fire and Ice), A Poem by Edmund Spenser
Fire and Ice
A man is in love with a women that does not love him back, even though he is pursuing her, she does not seem to love him at all. The man can not believe that even though she has turned him away, his desire for her only increases. It is a miracle that his love can not work into her heart and have her love him back. His strong and continually increasing desire only makes her less and less interested.
Edmund Spenser wrote Sonnet 30 as a poem that shows how love can sometimes be unattainable even if you have everything to offer.
Word Choice
My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolv'd through my so hot desire,
But harder grows, the more I her entreat?

Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not delayed by her heart-frozen cold,
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?

What more miraculous thing may be told
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice:
And ice, which is congealed with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?

Such is the pow'r of love in gentle mind
That it can alter all the course of kind.
14 lines - Sonnet
4 stanzas
Each stanza is one complex sentence
Each sentence ends with a "?" except the last.
Spenserian Structure:
The man is deeply in love but cannot figure out why he is not loved back.
Her disinterest only makes him want her more
Even with all the things that he has, he can not get her to love him back.
Every word in a sonnet is important, but there are a handful of words that help the reader better understand what the author is trying to portray. To fully comprehend the author's thoughts and feelings, we must not only look at the connotation of the words but also the denotation.
-fire, ice, hot, cold
-exceeding, burn, boiling, flames,
love - Love can not always be won, even if you have everything to offer. The harder you chase unwanted love, the farther it will go.
There is a lot of imagery in Sonnet 30.
Fire-Edmund Spencer
Ice-his love for his future wife
Exceeding heat-Edmund's desire
Flames augmented manifold-his desire increasing drastically, in many ways
Full transcript