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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry The Sonnet Sonnet Comparison Chart English Verse Although the sonnet began in Italy in the 13th century, Thomas Wyatt 1503-1542, was one of the first English poets to translate and utilize the form. He used the Petrarchan octave but introduced a rhyming couplet at the end of the sestet. His friend the Earl of Surrey also initiated more rhyme. The Italian form was restricted to 5 rhymes. After Wyatt and Surrey the sonnet could have 7 rhymes. They also shifted the sonnet away from the slightly more intellectual and argumentative Petrarchan form, and