R. D. Laing: Sonnets

(598 words)
  • Daniel Burston (Duquesne University )
  • Gavin Miller (University of Glasgow)

R.D. Laing’s literary ambitions culminated in the publication of his Sonnets in 1979. The volume contains a sequence of 38 sonnets (with a concluding two-stanza lyric). There is no narrative pattern linking the sonnets. The collection moves from theme to theme, occasionally touching on psychiatric issues, but in the main taken up with more typical concerns such as love, death and spirituality. Writing in iambic pentameter, Laing does not use Petrarchan pattern of an octave and sestet rhyming abbaabba cdecde (or cdcdcd). Instead he uses the Shakespearean sonnet of abab cdcd efef gg, which he frequently varies with the pattern abba cddc effe gg, or by combining quatrains into octets, or …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Burston, Daniel, Gavin Miller. "Sonnets". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16854, accessed 25 September 2016.]