Summary and Analysis of Philip Sidney’s Loving in Truth

Philip Sidney opens this first sonnet Loving in Truth by explaining his motivation for composing the sonnet sequence. He believes that if his beloved were to read the sonnets, she would eventually return his affection. He argues that her pleasure in his pain would cause her to read his sonnets, and her reading of the sonnets would allow her to know the extent of his affection, which might make her pity the author’s situation-and this pity may transform into grace and love.

The author also describes the difficulties he faces in composing the sonnet sequence ( a collection of sonnets). He has struggled hard to express the pain and misery of his emotions and has tried to look at other poets’ works in order to gain inspiration. Still, he has been unsuccessful. Finally, the author has realized that the only way to fully express his love for Stella in his poetry is to write from his heart.

The central theme of this sonnet is love. Here the poet argues to find inspiration for his verse to please his ladylove Stella. The poet seeks to show her the depth of his love through his poetry, written in her praise. In order to express this, he is searching for an appropriate picture of his deep pang of love. But his frantic search for his inspiration from other poets and from other devices’ proves to be in vain. Finally, he realizes the secret of his poetic inspiration which lies in his heart, and in no sophisticated invention or labored imitation, and the port should write the poem by utilizing the feelings that spring from his heart.

This sonnet Loving in Truth is taken from Astrophel and Stella, a sonnet sequence.

In English sonnets, Iambic pentameter is a normal meter. But here Sidney followed lambic hexameter as his meter in the sonnet. The rhyme scheme is ab ab ab ab cd cd ee.