What is a Sonnet?

Some of my readers may be asking themselves, “Well she is posting things about poetry month, why now is there a sonnet?” Some of you, my dear readers, may not know what a sonnet actually is. A lot of people attribute Sonnet’s with Shakespeare. They think it was just something he used in his play’s. While yes, he did disperse them through his plays, they also are a form of poetry.

sonnet |ˈsänit|
noun
a poem of fourteen lines using any of a number of formal rhyme schemes, in English typically having ten syllables per line.

Sonnets are written in a…

a b a b
c d c d
e f e f
g g

format.

(A)Two households, both alike in dignity,
(B)In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
(A)From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
(B)Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
(C)From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
(D)A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
(C)Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
(D)Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
(E)The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
(F)And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
(E)Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
(F)Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
(G)The which if you with patient ears attend,
(G)What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

The letters which match (A,A – B,B – etc) will rhyme at the end. Like A and A, dignity and mutiny – lines B and B – scene, unclean – et cetera, et cetera.

Now hopefully you have learned something of interest and will be all the wiser.