Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought

Shakespeare... Petrarch... and you! Welcome to the sonnet circle, a group for all lovers of sonnets, whether you prefer the traditional forms or your own personal take. Join us to write, learn about, discuss, explore, and celebrate the sonnet!
A simple sonnet challenge - love in 14 lines - 04/12/2011
by Paganini Jones

To get us all (back) into writing sonnets, lets have a really simple challenge: write a 14-line poem about something you love. Don't worry about syllable count, meter or rhyme. Just write about something/someone you love in 14 lines. For those who need more, see the guidelines below.

Post your poem in the forum, or give a link to your library so we can admire your efforts :)

You could just go for it. But 14 lines is an 'odd' length to think in. Try thinking of the poem in two or 3 sections. Section 1 introduces the object of your love eg how you met; a description of your love. Section 2 (if you have 3 sections) develops the idea - e.g. how your love has changed over time; what other people think of your love; what the object of your love thinks about you. The final section provides some sort of summary or conclusion e.g. a declaration of your continued love; an appeal for your lover to respond; how you are responding to the situation.

There are traditional rhyming patterns used for sonnets but there are sonnets out there with no rhyming scheme too. Feel free to do your own thing. I find that doing rhyme adds a comic feel to my poetry: there is nothing wrong with writing a sonnet that makes people laugh!

The traditional sonnets we studied at school often seemed somber or serious. Dull even. Sonnets, like other poetry, don't have to be like this. Your writing is a reflection of you, so be yourself. Make us laugh or cry if you want to!

Traditionally sonnets usually have 10 syllables per line. Don't know how to write that way? Then don't do it. Use another number instead, or have different counts for each line - You'll be in good company with poets such as Manley Hopkins

Can't tell an iamb from a door jamb? No worries. write in your own way. Feel all sonnets should be in iambic pentameter? Go ahead. It's your choice and your poem.

Just get writing a simple sonnet, as structured or as unstructured as you want it to be, about something or someone you love! GO! Stop reading this! Get writing!

Sonnet Contest!!! - 12/13/2003
by Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Today begins Sessions...'s first monthly poetry contest!

It will run until January 13, 2004, Midnight PST

The prize (for now) is bragging rights, but once we really get running, we shall use better prizes.

The contest will be judged by the moderators. However, moderators are allowed to participate without being eligible to win. This is just so if we feel like doing the topic for the month we can!

This month's contest involves finding your favorite type of sonnet, and writing a poem as strict to this type as possible. This is basically a way just to start everything off. Put the type of sonnet you are using at the bottom of them poem (and if you also post yours in your library, put it in your authors note)

The poems will be judged on both form and content. Post your poems on the designated thread in the forum.

We promise more freedom in the next months' contests ;)

Reposted from the Circle's forum, but written by TA Jennings (not me) - 12/03/2003
by Jeanne Marie Hoffman

For those of you who truly detest throwing rhyme schemes into your works...try one of the following forms

1) Blank Sonnet - 14 lines, iambic pentameter, but lose the rhyme scheme
2) Syllabic sonnet - 14 lines, each line must share the same syllabic pattern, rhyme scheme is optional
3) Free Sonnet - 14 lines, this form is debateable as to whether or not it is a sonnet. As long as it maintains the traditional thematic progression of a 14 line sonnet most will agree it counts

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