Poetry Analysis: My Lute Awake By Sir Thomas Wyatt

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Poetry Analysis: My Lute Awake by Sir Thomas Wyatt


Thomas Wyatt’s My Lute Awake is one of the major poetic works dominating the literary scene for decades. The poem presents an author who is relentlessly trying to win over his lover, but in despondency as he thinks he has lost her. Despite the fact that he is gradually losing hope of ever winning her heart back, he plays her the music nonetheless. On this note, the poem features a scorned band bitter suitor whose world seems to be caving in below in the face of rejection by his lover. The discussion will explore this thesis through a profound and riveting analysis of the various aspects that constitute the poem.

Summary and contextual analysis

My Lute Awake begins with the persona addressing his lute, asking it awaken and accompany him one last time in a performance right before they can give up their mission. The mission (labor) entails singing for the woman he once cherished, with a bid to rekindling their waning love (Iovan 3). The poet continues to decry the cruelty with which her lover has ignored his attempts at winning her back, and reiterates that he and his lute have given up on the mission which seems futile. In the fourth stanza, the poet’s heartbreak culminates into a bitter accusation when he resorts to addressing the lover directly instead of his lute. The author reprimands the anonymous woman for being proud of profits of the hearts that she was won (Greenblatt & Carol 16). The poem comes to an end with the author warning the female lover that a day comes when she will no longer be young and pretty, and she will regret ignoring his relentless advances. At the very end, the persona reiterates that he is done with the labor.

While Wyatt’s love no longer loves him, perhaps the saddest insinuation from the poem is the fact that the anonymous woman seems to enjoy having broken several hearts. The imagery of war is used to illustrate the gravity of the situation in stanza three featuring war elements like ‘shot’, ‘bow’ and ‘won’ (Iovan 3). Such metaphor creates mental images of destruction resulting from war with those whose hearts had been broken coming out as victims of the war. The author further compares the magnitude of rejection to waves crashing against rocks. This implies that women in this case is merciless, cold, and hard as an impenetrable rock that stands the magnitude of the fast-pacing waves. However, Wyatt seems to recover from the heartbreak given the change in the last line of stanza seven ‘...and wish and want as I have done.’ The end line is different from the previous ones which were repetitive. Similarly, using past tense in reference to his feelings also implies that he has assumed the course of recovery. On this note, despite the overall somber mood of the poem, light shines at the end of the tunnel when the persona finally gets over his lover.

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The poem is typical of the nature of contemporary romance. Personally, I have learnt that at times pursuing what we love may only end up breaking us more. As such, quitting the pursuit becomes a viable solution to the misery. Toady’s audience may also learn when to keep fighting for what they love, and when to give up. (For the next work find me on this document, click on ‘file’ up there, see ‘author’, and message me directly immediately, I will give you a discount. Remove this part before you hand in your paper).


Conclusively, the persona in the poem has extensively expressed his bitterness and disappointment in the woman he once loved, but has ceased to reciprocate the love. The author uses imagery and metaphor to illustrate the extent of his heartbreak, but gives up in the end after realizing the futility of his efforts. Putting up a relentless fight is certainly not always a guarantee of fruitfulness of the efforts.

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Essays Stock (2024). Poetry Analysis: My Lute Awake by Sir Thomas Wyatt. Essays Stock. https://essays-stock.com/example/poetry-analysis-my-lute-awake-by-sir-thomas-wyatt

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