Thursday, February 14, 2013

Writing Sonnets

Happy Valentines Day! The most famous type of love poem is the sonnet. So today, I'd like to talk to you about what makes a poem a sonnet, and next week we will begin to talk about how to write a sonnet, and share some local authors contributions to the sonnet. This is not your Hallmark type greeting, instead it is an art form with a very different musical sound to it that resonates sentiment.

What is a sonnet? 
Sonnets were made popular by William Shakespeare. Generally speaking, most sonnets have 14 lines and four quatrains.

  • Sonnets have a very definite rhyme scheme. (Example: ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG)
  • Sonnets are written in iambic pentameter. This means that each lines contains ten beats (syllables). What makes it iambic is that they alternate stressed and unstressed syllables.

Four Quatrains:

1. First Quatrain: This should establish the topic of your sonnet. Rhyme scheme: ABAB (4 lines)

2. Second Quatrain: This should establish the theme of your sonnet. Rhyme scheme: CDCD (4 lines)

3.Third Quatrain: This should round of the theme of your overall sonnet. Rhyme scheme: EFEF (4 lines)

4. Fourth Quatrain: The soul purpose of the fourth quatrain is to act as a conclusion to the sonnet. Rhyme scheme: GG (2 lines)

So give it a whirl, and you'll be writing sonnets in no time. Next week, you'll learn how to write sonnets and there will be a poet showcased. For now, give it up to the guy that started it all. 

William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Watch the video and hear my favorite Shakespeare Sonnet read

Laurie Epps is a non-fiction author, essayist, and poet living in Anderson, South Carolina. A seeker of beauty, her is dream is to travel the world one day and tell their many stories. To read more of Laurie's stories visit her Tuesday column dedicated to writing at:

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Swan House in Atlanta

By Laurie Bower Epps Many don't know that I'm really from Atlanta. Somehow, as I've gotten older, it just seems to be natura...