[found on livingapex.com; by Josh Rueff]
“Less is not less but more, more is not more but is less – unless less becomes less by becoming more. That being said, this is the formula for a sonnet:
The Shakespearean Sonnet
3 Quatrains + a Couplet = Sonnet.
A quatrain is a set of 4 lines.
A couplet is a set of 2 lines.
It’s almost that simple. The sonnet is composed of nothing more, however, there are two more rules to follow while composing the sonnet:
Iambic Pentameter and
Sonnet rhyming pattern.
Each line of the sonnet contains 5 sets of “iambs”.
One unstressed syllable, one stressed syllable.
Don’t get hung up on strange words – an iamb is simple – it sounds like this: baBOOM.
And looks like this: the CLOCK, or com PARE.
Iambic Pentameter is 5 sets of iambs.
Iambic Pentameter looks and sounds like this: baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM.
Example: When I / do COUNT / the CLOCK / that TELLS / the TIME
Sonnet rhyming pattern
Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day? A
Thou art more lovely and more temperate: B
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, A
And Summer’s lease hath all too short a date: B
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, C
And oft’ is his gold complexion dimm’d; D
And every fair from fair sometime declines, C
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d: D
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade E
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; F
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade, E
When in eternal lines to time thou growest: F
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, G
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. G
So a sonnet consists of 3 quatrains and a couplet, following the sonnet rhyming pattern and iambic pentameter.”
“When you’ve got a thing to say,
Say it! Don’t take half a day.
When your tale’s got little in it
Crowd the whole thing in a minute!
Life is short–a fleeting vapor–
Don’t you fill the whole blamed paper
With a tale which, at a pinch,
Could be cornered in an inch!
Boil her down until she simmers,
Polish her until she glimmers.”
― Joel Chandler Harris
Even writers of novels will run across the need to write a poem. Take J.K. Rowling for instance—how many poems and lyrics lace the pages of her hit series Harry Potter?Here are some quick links to help poets on their journey:
- RHYMES: Perhaps, you need to find a rhyme that has three syllables, and rhymes on the last two? Even if you just need a quick rhyme for a simple word—this tool is what you need: RhymeZone.
- THESAURUS: Have you been searching for a different word, it’s on the tip of your tongue, but you just…can’t…reach it? An online thesaurus is what you need: Thesaurus.
- DICTIONARY: Do you suddenly wonder if that word means what you think it means? Inconceivable! Use an all-encompassing online dictionary: MoreWords.
- ACROSTIC: Poe used poetry that was mathematic, and shaped. He used acrostic form to a new level. The typical definition is “a series of lines or verses in which the first, last, or other particular letters when taken in order spell out a word, phrase, etc.” Poe used this form to hide the names of his mistresses within his art.