Short Questions and Answers from One Day I Wrote Her Name by Edmund Spenser

1. “Vayne man”, said she, “that does in vaine assay,”- Who says this and to whom? Explain the significance of ‘vayne’ and ‘vaine’,

The line is taken from Edmund Spenser’s sonnet ‘One Day I Wrote Her Name’. This is said by the ladylove. She said these words to the poet lover Spenser.

Vayne means full of vanity and boastfulness. ‘Vaine’ means uselessly or without the desired result. The ladylove mocks at the poet’s effort to immortalize her name by writing it on the sea-beach because waves will wash it away. Then the lady said the poet lover ina mocking tone that he was trying in vain by writing her name on the sand. The lover then realized that writing verses for her might immortalize their love.

2. Why does Edmund Spenser say, “Our love shall live, and later life renew”?

Here Spenser says that their mutual love will live forever because of his poetic creation would have regenerative power which would bestow immortality upon their love although they shall lose their physical entity to death, the inescapable reality.

3. What is the central theme of the sonnet “One day I wrote her name upon the strand”?

The central theme of the sonnet is love. It represents the poet’s effort to immortalize his love to the mortal world. Though the lady-love is quite dubious about the result of the poet’s effort, the poet is thoroughly inspired and believe that he can eternize her virtues by his verse. Poetry will conquer time and death, and their life will be renewed by love.

4. Again I wrote it with a second hand”. – Who writes it? Why did the poet write it for the second time?


Edmund Spenser writes it in his sonnet One Day I Wrote Her Name. lt refers to the writing of the name of the lady love on the strands to immortalize her. The wave washed away his efforts repeatedly. So the poet wrote the name for the second time.

5. How did the tide make the pains of the poet his prey?

In the sonnet ‘One Day I Write Her Name’ Spenser says that he had written the name of his beloved on the sand but, the wave came and washed it away for each time. Thus the tide spoilt the effort of the poet and made his pain its prey.


6. “In the hevens wryte your glorious name”. – Whose glorious name would be written ‘in hevens’ and why? How would the poet write the name in heaven?


The poet’s ladylove’s name would be written ‘in heven’. The lover realizes that if he writes his beloved’s name on the earthly strands, it cannot but he wiped out by tide and death. So he proposes to write her glorious name in heaven where death will be unable to subdue it. Thus her name will be free from being wiped out.

7. A mortal thing to immortalize.” -What is meant by ‘a mortal thing”?  Who wants to immortalize it?

By ‘a mortal thing’ the poet Edmund Spenser. means his beloved in the sonnet ‘ One Day I Wrote Her Name’. The poet lover wants to immortalize it.


8. But came the tyde, and made my pains his pray.” Bring out the imagery Iying in the line.


The poet’s effort of writing his beloved’s name upon the strands to immortalize it is in vain as tides come and wash it away, again and again, The poet expresses this vain effort of his with the help of imagery. Just as a big bird like the hawk makes a small bird its prey so the tide turns the name of the beloved its prey by wiping it away.


9. How will the love of the poet and his beloved be renewed in later life?

According to the poet, the future generations will come to know about the chaste love of the poet and his beloved by reading his poetry and will like to taste such love in their life. Thus their love will be renewed in later life. The lover is quite confident that there is no fear of the disintegration of their love because it is pure as gold.


10. What is meant by Amoretti?

The word “Amoretti” means little love. Here it refers to the poet’s beloved Elizabeth Boyle. He dedicated the whole sequence of sonnets to Elizabeth Boyle. The name of the sonnet sequence is also “Amoretti”.