Mine eyes doth drink of your essence so pure;
distilled from the sweetest fruits of this earth.
So that I realize the truth, my life’s worth,
I continue drinking from your allure.
For in you, I feel so safe and secure.
Like a newborn baby upon his birth,
your soul, it fills me with such glee—such mirth.
Let it never end, let there be no cure.
And though I know—alone I can be me,
I’d rather stay and sip from your chalice;
continue to assimilate your love.
For only then do I really feel free,
from all the strife in life—free of malice.
You’re the Nectar of God, sent from above.
© September 4, 2010 CRF
So, yesterday I was skimming through posts on the tagsurfer section of WordPress. I came across a poem that was called a sonnet in its title. It certainly was a poem. I’m not putting down the inspired work of another. My problem is with it being called a sonnet.
By far the majority of sonnets are written in iambic pentameter, (the kyrielle sonnet has 8 syllable lines). However, they all have uniform line lengths. This poem’s lines varied from six syllables to eleven syllables. It was also 16 lines long. Every sonnet I have ever come across has 14 lines. They also have a volta (turn) that occurs somewhere around lines 8-10. This turn provides an unexpected change in meaning, or expands on the original thought in an obscure manner.
Another characteristic of sonnets is that they have set rhyme schemes. These are different depending on the type of sonnet. In mine, I wrote a petrarchan sonnet. It’s rhyme scheme is abbaabba cdecde. Other main forms of the sonnet are the Shakespearean Sonnet and the Spenserian Sonnet. They have different rhyme schemes. To my understanding, the rhyme scheme is what determines which sonnet it is.
What this poster did by calling their poem a sonnet was to provide a disservice to both their readers and themselves. By calling it a sonnet, those aware of poetry forms will find fault and lose the intended meaning of the poem simply because they are too caught up with the form being wrong. Those of their readers who don’t have this knowledge, but wish to try writing a sonnet themselves, would then perpetuate the erroneous assertion of that being a sonnet. It will dilute the form, and eventually, a sonnet would become anything written about love.
In all fairness, perhaps this poster was not aware of the various requirements. Perhaps they had witnessed someone else do this very thing, and thought they were writing a sonnet.
I really don’t like to critique in this way, but if you are saying you are writing in a classic style, you should make sure that you really are.
- Literary terms for poetry (slideshare.net)