Study Guide

Whoso List to Hunt Calling Card

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Calling Card


Wyatt loves to talk about hunting, and when Wyatt talks about hunting, he's not usually talking about actual hunting, but the trials and tribulations of love, courtship, and the like. By now you've seen how pervasive (big surprise) hunting is in "Whoso List to Hunt," so we'll give you a few snippets from some of Wyatt's other poems just so you can see.

While hunting isn't always so obviously present in Wyatt's other poems as it is in "Whoso List to Hunt," it is still there. In a poem such as "Lux, My Fair Falcon," for example, Wyatt says nothing about hunting, but the falcon itself symbolizes hunting (it is a bird of prey, after all).

The same goes for one of Wyatt's most famous poems of all, "They Flee From Me". The relationship between the woman and the speaker in that poem is that of hunter and prey, a metaphor hinted at when the woman addresses the speaker as "Dear heart" (the speaker puns on "hart," a word that also means "deer"). In another poem ("My Lute, Awake!"), Wyatt writes "Proud of the spoil that thou hast got / Of simple hearts, thorough love's shot" (16-17). The line contains the same pun on "heart" and a reference to Cupid, a hunter who shoots people ("shot") with his bow and makes them fall in love.

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