Just another site

National Poetry Month: Day 15

What’s On This Month

The movies translate the incoherence
of love into the language of cliche,
give us acceptable outlets that
aren’t too outre, turning ‘I would
eat your eyes to touch your
thoughts’ into ‘take this gift to you
I’ve bought’. It’s profitable to depict
love as sanity but the beast it
releases is born from profanity;
longing is the subject of many a fine song,
but ‘hunger’ as the descriptor is
rather less wrong.

Elizabethan/Shakespearean sonnets are the most familiar form of the sonnet to my oft-cited Average English Schoolchild (ie. me) and follow such a simple rhyme scheme that were it not for the usual assumption of iambic pentameter accompanying I would already be beating myself up for not writing more of them. Iambic pentameter (fortunately) isn’t mandatory for the form, and deviations have been made throughout its use in English, and I have no excuse for not writing more of these eloquent self-contained verses.

The sonnet is a kind of self-contained argument: ababcdcdefefgg, or three sets of quatrain and a closing couplet which summarises the argument or concludes it.

During the period in which they were popularised in England they seem to have been used in praise: Shakespeare’s love poems, Donne’s metaphysical ones. The tidy structure and relative ease of reading, however, makes them suitable for just about any subject, and the concluding couplet fits them out perfectly as a kind of extended limerick, making sonnets especially good for humorous subjects as well as the more serious or lovelorn kind.

The word “sonnet” itself effectively means “little song”, and perhaps it isn’t entirely coincidence that the structure of the sonnet works well as a pop song.

Throughout this month I will be nagging readers to donate to MSF

About these ads

Filed under: content: poetry, freeform, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


  • I wish there was some way of channeling the enthusiasm I feel about that book into Twitter instead of calling characters "knobs" a lot. 2 hours ago
  • Instead of sleeping like a normal person last night I lectured the Resident Australian about character dynamics in the book I'm editing. 2 hours ago
  • RT @miss_s_b: The problem with trusting people is that sometimes THEY trust people you don't. :/ 6 hours ago
  • I think the main reason people don't "eat home made every day" is because it takes four bloody hours to make something and most people work. 7 hours ago
  • The Resident Australian is boiling a stock bone we picked up in Borough for £2 and there's a vat of chopped veggies awaiting submersion. 7 hours ago

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 537 other followers

%d bloggers like this: