Sonnet vs. Sonnet

Round 3

John Keats      25% (201 votes)


Leigh Hunt      75% (612 votes)


Archive of Past Results

It was a close contest, but Wilfred Owen bested Siegfried Sassoon in last month's Round 2.

On December 30, 1816, John Keats and Leigh Hunt challenged each other to write a sonnet on the subject of "the grasshopper and cricket." They wrote these two characteristic sonnets in fifteen minutes. Who won?

On the Grasshopper and Cricket
John Keats

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's--he takes the lead
In summer luxury,--he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.
To the Grasshopper and the Cricket
Leigh Hunt

Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,
Catching your heart up at the feel of June,
Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon,
When even the bees lag at the summoning brass;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nick the glad silent moments as they pass;
Oh sweet and tiny cousins, that belong
One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong
At your clear hearts; and both were sent on earth
To sing in thoughtful ears this natural song:
Indoors and out, summer and winter,--Mirth.

Sonnet vs. Sonnet III
Who gets your vote?

John Keats
Leigh Hunt