Sonnets

Modern poets seem to dislike sonnets.

I don’t know why, honestly.  I find them a wonderful form, generally if I don’t know how to approach a subject, I start out with a sonnet as a framework.

Granted, it doesn’t always work, and sometimes it drifts so far away from the basic template that no one else can tell it started out as a sonnet, but I think it’s a great place to start.

To review, because not everyone is really that familiar with the form, a sonnet is three times four plus two, five by five.

That is to say, three four line couplets and a two line couplet, in iambic pentameter.

da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DAY
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DEE
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DAY
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DEE

da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DOO
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DIE
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DOO
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DIE

da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DOW
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DUU
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DOW
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DUU

da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DIN
da-da da-da da-da da-da da-DIN

Now, I am formalist, but I’m not what I’d call a strict formalist.  Sometimes the rhyme scheme gets a little sloppy, and sometimes my lines don’t exactly scan.  I have a weakness for polysyllables.   I mean, I used the line “Like the diktat of an autarch or a deathwatch knell” in a love poem for goodness sake.

But I do believe that anyone who writes poetry ought to be able to work in a formal style, even if they don’t choose to write that way most of the time.

So, poets, when was the last time you wrote a sonnet?  Have you ever tried to rework a poem that you wrote in blank verse in a formal style?

I’m considering setting myself a challenge– Seven Sonnets In Seven Days–but it’s lonely to do those things by myself.  Anybody out there interested in doing it with me?

Advertisements

About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in On Writing, Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sonnets

  1. Melody says:

    I could try.

  2. MishaBurnett says:

    Good enough! I think I’ll start with tomorrow.

  3. David Emeron says:

    Hmm…. well, as you probably know know, I write one a day.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      Yes, I just found your blog and I think you are AWESOME!

      • David Emeron says:

        Hi praise indeed, coming from such a talented man. Perhaps I should change my name to Chip… or no wait… how about Dale?

        I almost bought your book… I still may… probably will. I read the introductory chapters and was thoroughly sucked in. It is a little dark for my mood at the moment. But it won’t always be. I feel like its put itself ahead of a few other works of fiction in my informal queue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s