Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thoughtful Thursdays

The hardest part about writing a sonnet is true also true of writing about anything. You must begin to write something to have a tangible piece of work to manipulate words much like a sculptor manipulates clay. Armed with a basic knowledge of the criteria will have you writing sonnets like a pro in no time.

What's a sonnet?Sonnets are a kind of rhymed poem written in iambic pentameter. That's a rhythm that sounds like this: bah-BAH bah-BAH bah-BAH bah-BAH bah-BAH. 
An iamb is a rhythmic unit that includes an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one. It has the rhythm bah-BAH    

Examples would include: a-bout, suc-comb, di-stress.

The best advice I can give you about writing any kind of poetry, is to read other poems in the same style aloud. it is then you will begin to develop an ear for poetry, for pentameter or rhyme scheme. Historically, poetry was an oral tradition, and although you will feel like you are talking to yourself, it is the best way to hear musical quality of the poem.

To give you an example of a modern day sonnet,  I'd like to introduce Kenneth O'Shaunnessey. A fellow poet and homeschooling dad, Ken writes poetry on a daily basis, and it can be found at:

Kenneth A O'Shaughnessy was born in Syracuse, NY, and has lived in the Greenville, SC for slightly over half of his life. Ken also writes books for children. You can purchase the picture book he made with his son, The Boy with the Pig Nose, from

The Way You Move

Of all the little loving things you do
Just because I am the one you adore
The one I like best is one that is new
It's the way you move when you sweep the floor
Angel's wings could not any better brush
The clouds of Heaven from whence they watch you
Than you can the floor with bristles of rush
And since you are here I get to watch too
You are still using the same old whisk broom
And you're still sweeping the same kitchen tile
But now I like to watch you leave the room
For the first time in a very long while
I've come to enjoy your wiggling hips
The little whistle they bring to my lips

Laurie Epps is a non-fiction author, essayist, editor,  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:

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