The poem “To Sleep” was not a normal sonnet in that it was not written to another person but rather to a state of being. In this poem the author is saying she wants sleep to overtake her. She says that even others such as the sea-boy and the village-girl get to experience sleep. She concludes it by saying that sleep still denies its presence to her.
This poem has a rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. This is the same rhyme scheme as that of the English or Shakespearean type. There were no changes from the traditional way that the English type is written. This poem type was chosen because the author was having a conflict with sleep. In most of the English sonnets the poet presents you with a conflict and in the couplet at the end of the sonnet the conflict is usually resolved. In this poems case the couplet was not used as a resolution for the problem but rather final thoughts on the problem. This type was the best one for this poem so that the reader will already know there is going to be a conflict stated within the poem.
The volta of the poem is after the twelfth line of the poem. In the quatrains the poet is just telling how she wants to sleep and how good sleep can be. In the last two lines of the poem she just resolves within herself that sleep has just forgotten about her and she will not experience it. At this point in the poem there is also a change of emotion. At the beginning of the poem she is very anxious and excited to have sleep come to her. At the end of the poem her tone is a bit calmer and she has realized and accepted the fact that sleep is not going to come.