Sonnet

By Abby Van Sice

History & Characteristics..

Sonnets are 14 line poems that are written in iambic pentameter. They come in two major forms- Shakespearean and Petrarchan.

Petrarchan, the most commonly seen one, is split up into two stanzas, and has the rhyme scheme abba, abba, cdecde/ cdcdcd. It was created by the Italian poet Petrarch and was introduced to England in the early sixteenth century by (Sir) Thomas Wyatt.

The second form is known as Shakespearean. It consists of three quatrains (a stanza of four lines) and the rhyme scheme is; abab, cdcd, efef, gg. ("Poetic Form: Sonnet." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014)

Purpose..

Sonnets are traditionally written to express emotion. Overtime though, various poets expressed things like religion and politics with them. ("About the Sonnet." About the Sonnet. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.)

Petrarchan Form Example..

From Visions
Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374)

(Trans. Edmund Spenser)

Being one day at my window all alone,

So manie strange things happened me to see,
As much as it grieveth me to thinke thereon.
At my right hand a hynde appear’d to mee,
So faire as mote the greatest god delite;
Two eager dogs did her pursue in chace.
Of which the one was blacke, the other white:
With deadly force so in their cruell race

They pincht the haunches of that gentle beast,

That at the last, and in short time, I spide,
Under a rocke, where she alas, opprest,
Fell to the ground, and there untimely dide.
Cruell death vanquishing so noble beautie
Oft makes me wayle so hard a desire

("Poetry through the Ages." Examples of Sonnets : Poetry through the Ages. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.)

Shakespearean Form Example..

From Sonnets
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

From fairest creatures we desire increase,

That thereby beauty’s rose might never die.
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.

("Poetry through the Ages." Examples of Sonnets : Poetry through the Ages. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.)

Works Cited..

"Poetic Form: Sonnet." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.


"About the Sonnet." About the Sonnet. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.


"Poetry through the Ages." Examples of Sonnets : Poetry through the Ages. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.