Sonnets are poems of fourteen lines with 10 syllables in each line. The Italian word sonnet means little song. During the Renaissance Italian poets wrote love poems called sonnet sequences. William Shakespeare’s sonnets which consist of three four-line stanzas (quatrains) followed by a two-line stanza (couplet) with the rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg became known as the English sonnet. My daughter Lauren wrote the example below about her cat Charcoal.
When I Come Home From School
The mouse sits dead on the doorstep’s frayed mat
The cat sits swishing his tail, full of joy.
The mouse’s head is gone and its bones crushed flat
And my cat waits for me to say, “Good boy.”
I stare at his green eyes and shake my head
Knowing he’s trying to give me a gift,
But I’m sick of getting gifts that are dead.
Still, I don’t want him to see that I’m miffed.
With a sigh, I reach out and stroke his fur
As I look down at the mouse in dismay.
Then my cat, oblivious, starts to purr,
And rubs on my jeans, leaving strands of gray.
The mouse goes in the trash by old cereal,
I wash my hands with antibacterial.
Lauren Burch, 2007
See if you can write a sonnet in the comments area. Remember most writers do not achieve perfection on the first draft. They have to write, revise and revise again. Poet Paul Valery described poetry this way, “a poem is never finished, only abandoned.”