Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to Write a Sonnet

Creating sonnets isn't exactly rock science however they do take a bit of creativity and hard work to become a “sonneteer”. So, whether you’re hoping to be the next William Shakespeare or just a good sonnet writer then you should definitely read this article. In this article, we’ll discuss how to write a sonnet. First of all, you should understand that a sonnet is a “little song”/poem consisting of 14 lines. It has been around since the 13th century and follows a strict rhyme scheme and logical structure.

Creating sonnets isn't exactly rock science however they do take a bit of creativity and hard work to become a “sonneteer”. So, whether you’re hoping to be the next William Shakespeare or just a good sonnet writer then you should definitely read this article. In this article, we’ll discuss how to write a sonnet. First of all, you should understand that a sonnet is a “little song”/poem consisting of 14 lines. It has been around since the 13th century and follows a strict rhyme scheme and logical structure.

Here are 7 tips to get you started:

  1. Study Shakespeare and other experienced “Sonneteers”. Read through their work and determine what it is about their poetic style that makes it so special. Another tip is to listen to sonnets while paying attention to the way they sound.
  2. Choose a subject that makes your heart sing and words flow. As you know, it is always easier to choose a subject that you enjoy writing about and choosing a subject for your sonnet is no different.
  3. Divide your theme into two section. The first one will present your theme or thoughts and the second one will resolve the problem or drive your point home.
  4. Make sure that your first section has three stanzas of four lines each.
  5. There are several types of sonnets, you can choose.
    • For a modern sonnet, you don’t have to line at all. You just need 14 lines with 10 syllables.
    • For an English (Shakespearean) sonnet, you will need a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f.
    • For a Spenserian sonnet (one that is similar to a Shakespearian sonnet) however its rhyme scheme includes 3 Sicilian quatrains and an ending heroic couplet. It rhymes "abab bcbc cdcd ee", and its scheme interlocks each of the quatrains.
    • For an Italian sonnet, you need an a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a rhyme scheme for the first section and a rhyme scheme of c-d-e-c-d-e or c-d-c-d-c-d in the second section.
    • Envelope sonnet- is made with two envelope quatrains and a sestet: "abba cddc efgefg (efefef)". It is almost exactly like the Italian sonnet except the quatrains use different rhymes (notice both quatrains in the Italian rhyme "abba").
  6. Next, compose your sonnet following your chosen rhyme scheme.
  7. Read your sonnet on paper and then read it again aloud. Then, ask someone close to you to read it as well. Make any necessary changes until it flows well.
    In conclusion, you can become a sonneteer and create sonnets. You simply have to study the works of established sonneteers, choose a heartfelt subject, create themes, make sure that you have 14 lines (and follow rhyme schemes for regular and Italian sonnets), review your work, practice and have a great time. By doing this, you’ll create a great sonnet.


Source: http://www.anecdote.org/

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