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Sir Thomas Wyatt: Emo Sonneteer

July 31, 2015


There’s a time and a place for everything. Even for emo music, and that’s called high school. While I was never one for the level of sissypants sensitivity reached by Hawthorne Heights or Dashboard Confessional, I did have a special affinity for the works of Sir Thomas Wyatt, England’s first famous sonnet writer, which you’ll see counts for something.

My love to scorn, my service to retain,

Therein, methought, you used cruelty;

Since with good will I lost my liberty,

To follow her which causeth all my pain.

Boys and girls, this man couldn’t be more emo if he were dying his hair pink and weeping into his Nightmare Before Christmas hoodie. But he was Thomas Wyatt, the pioneer of the English sonnet, and I loved his stuff.

If you’ve read Wolf Hall, you recognize Wyatt as a peripheral figure who nonetheless led a very interesting life. In…

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