This post was first published in August 2015 and I re-post it at the original date:
Have you written your sonnet yet? Well, don’t worry you still have time until next Tuesday to do so.
This is just a reminder for all those who want to take part in the two week “The Day Jobbers Essential Poetry Prompt”- challenge. Last week Wednesday I challenged all of us to write a sonnet. The topic is free as long as you keep to the sonnet forms: The Italian, The Spenserian, The Shakespearean and some undefinable ones.
The Italien Sonnet
Sonnets.org explains the Petrarchan Sonnet like this:
“The basic meter of all sonnets in English is iambic pentameter (basic information on iambic pentameter), although there have been a few tetrameter and even hexameter sonnets, as well.
The Italian sonnet is divided into two sections by two different groups of rhyming sounds. The first 8 lines is called the octave and rhymes:
a b b a a b b a
The remaining 6 lines is called the sestet and can have either two or three rhyming sounds, arranged in a variety of ways:
c d c d c d
c d d c d c
c d e c d e
c d e c e d
c d c e d c
The exact pattern of sestet rhymes (unlike the octave pattern)is flexible. In strict practice, the one thing that is to be avoided in the sestet is ending with a couplet (dd or ee), as this was never permitted in Italy, and Petrarch himself (supposedly) never used a couplet ending; in actual practice, sestets are sometimes ended with couplets (Sidney’s “Sonnet LXXI given below is an example of such a terminal couplet in an Italian sonnet).
The point here is that the poem is divided into two sections by the two differing rhyme groups. In accordance with the principle(which supposedly applies to all rhymed poetry but often doesn’t), a change from one rhyme group to another signifies a change in subject matter. This change occurs at the beginning of L9 in the Italian sonnet and is called the volta, or “turn”; the turn is an essential element of the sonnet form, perhaps the essential element…”
The Spenserian Sonnet
Again I go back to sonnets.org’s explanation:
“The Spenserian sonnet, invented by Edmund Spenseras an outgrowth of the stanza pattern he used in TheFaerie Queene (a b a b b c b c c), has the pattern:
a b a b b c b c c d c d e e
Here, the “abab” pattern sets up distinct four-line groups, each of which develops a specific idea;however, the overlapping a, b, c, and d rhymes form the first 12 lines into a single unit with a separated final couplet. The three quatrains then develop threedistinct but closely related ideas, with a differentidea (or commentary) in the couplet. Interestingly, Spenser often begins L9 of his sonnets with “But” or “Yet,” indicating a volta exactly where it would occur in the Italian sonnet; however, if one looks closely, one often finds that the “turn” here really isn’t one at all, that the actual turn occurs where the rhyme pattern changes, with the couplet, thus giving a 12 and 2 line pattern very different from the Italian 8 and 6 line pattern (actual volta marked by italics)…”
The Shakespearean Sonnet
And one last time some help from sonnets.org
“The English sonnet has the simplest and most flexiblepattern of all sonnets, consisting of 3 quatrains of alternating rhyme and a couplet:
a b a b
c d c d
e f e f
As in the Spenserian, each quatrain develops aspecific idea, but one closely related to the ideasin the other quatrains.
Not only is the English sonnet the easiest in termsof its rhyme scheme, calling for only pairs ofrhyming words rather than groups of 4, but it isthe most flexible in terms of the placement of thevolta. Shakespeare often places the “turn,”as in the Italian, at L9…”
Now go and get poetic
I hope these few explanations give you a little help to tackle the sonnet form.
How to take part in “The Day Jobbers Essential Poetry Prompt.”
•Read this week’s “The Day Jobbers Essential Poetry Prompt.”
•Write your poem as close or far from the prompt as you feel comfortable
•Post it on your blog or here in the comment section or both
•You have time for that until Tuesday 1. September 15
•Use “The Day Jobbers Essential Poetry Prompt” picture if you want to
• Go and read another “Day Jobbers Essential Poetry Prompt” Poem from the comments
• Most of all have lots of fun
Find the latest posts of “The Day Jobbers Essential Poetry Prompt” here
Now my dear fellow day jobbers: go, create and have lots of fun!