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I'm throwing down the gauntlet, to the brave and knowledgeable among us... and to the brave and willing to learn..a beautiful art form...the Sonnet.

It is a 14 line poem made up of an octave and a sestet embodying the statement and the resolution of a single theme. Usually about a romantic or tragic theme.

Please submit under this challenge page and we'll have fun while learning an almost lost art form!


Grandma Bea

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The following comments are for "Authentic Sonnet Challenge"
by Beatrice Boyle

@ Bea
As an aspiring Creative Writign and Eng Lit major, I am ashamed to say I have little exposure to the art form of the sonnet.

If you can find any educational links on the web regarding sonnets, or even some beautiful examples of sonnets, please provide them for us!

Of course, if you share the work of famous poets and their sonnets, you will tell us where you got them from? No need to use something complicated like MLA Format. Just give us the author's name and URL from which it came.

While we focus on each others' orginial work here, there is absolutely nothing wrong with discussing the work of famous writers and soneteers here. It might help us all grow in our quest to creat art.

Thanks again for all you do!

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: October 26, 2010 )

Thanks Stuart....stay tuned!
Great Stuart...I'll get to work on it right happy you will be participating also!

Stay tuned!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: October 26, 2010 )

Sonnet Basics
As per Stuart's are some of the basics of writing sonnets as per Wikipedia, the free encylopedia.

Theme is of ULTIMATE importance in a sonnet. You must present a conflict of sorts in your opening stanzas and a resolution in your closing ones. Think carefully of what you want to write and how you want to develop your work before you begin writing.

The use of imagery is another important consideration. A sonnet is a very compact piece, and as such is a great format for extended metaphors. Try to incorporate some simile, metaphor, or other types of imagery into your work.

Let's move to the structure, starting with meter - This is the easy part.... A sonnet, properly written, is done in "iambic pentameter." That means that every line will consist of five "iambic" feet. Each line of your poem will follow this pattern....


"How do I love thee - Let me count the ways"
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's lines would read as


Ms. Barrett Browning loved her sonnets. Read this wonderful one in its entirety - It's just superb, isn't it? It's certainly understandable that it's so famous.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise,
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints -I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -and, if God choose,
But I shall love thee better after death.

My own particular favorites are Shakespear's especially:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

This site is particulaly informative as to form and content:

Who's brave enough to try?


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: October 26, 2010 )

Re Sonnet subject matter
What kind of sonnet?

( Posted by: veebdosa [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

I prefer the English version of the Italian form (which Shakespeare used.
The English sonnet has the simplest and most flexible pattern 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
g g

I've never been able to grasp the Spenserian form let alone write a decent English form..I have the basic idea, as to form ending in a couplet, but always manage to write more than five lines in the body. That's why I thought it fun to see if we could all try together!

Lead on McDuff!!!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

I love this - you guys should write my article! ;)

I really like sonnets - I suppose it suits, more, storytelling or dramaturgy. Playing around with the rhyming scheme,to me,is just great fun.

I find the the precise syllabic beat more difficult and honor ya all for doing it so very well.
The need for linguistic nimble-ness, is for me, the gold at the end of the rainbow. I would wish more new poets would spend some time working in this form. A good command of the language is a primary attribute to any poet.
So to Ivor, Bea, and Ron Ya all are wonderful.
I bow!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

defining sonnet (from the Italian)
This much I must forget to build upon,
Translated, sonnet only means a song.

( Posted by: veebdosa [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

Well, if in Italian it's just a song
My friend how can you and I go wrong

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

Sonnets & Songwriting.
Altho the rhyming scheme may be a bit different, most songs are sonnets in that they tell a story...conflict with a resolution! Except that in songwriting, you have much more leeway!

See've been writing sonnets all along!!!!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

Say is that prude or prune???
Yep, the original "sonneteers" were really troubedours who roamed the Italian farmlands singing their songs. And a sonnet was simply a song with no real format, until the, uhhhmmm, (Pardonez mois, Ivor) English prudes from Oxford gave them format and theme. AT least that is what I overheard in a Paris cafe one day.

( Posted by: veebdosa [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

Is this In the Sonnet form, a real sonnet???
Your time has come! This love you've found will grow,
into a love that few have known is real,
and as this night goes on, your heart will know
what kings have waged their fortunes just to feel.

You'll know a love that makes your heart enjoy
the power over men, who love in haste,
who have the means to burn the streets of Troy
and in the name of love, lay her to waste.

As sure as Paris died to lay his claim,
for love of Helen, though it brought his fall,
the very heart of love will burn a flame
within your soul, and I will claim it all,

and as my heart breathes in the breath off you,
I am what Helen turns a man into.

( Posted by: veebdosa [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

Counterfit Pentameter LOL
Ken, playing around with the rhyming scheme, is fun, also, every now and then I will give an extra foot into a line, and I have never had anyone catch on to the deception.
(Willie Shakespeare did it, too.)

( Posted by: veebdosa [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

Ron & Willie!
If it was good enough for Willie it should be good encough for the rest of us...keep em coming Ron!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: October 27, 2010 )

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