Sonnets, so help me

People who have been following this blog and other writings closely will have noticed that during the April-May thirty-poem challenge thingy (I wimped out of continuing it through the end of May, although Howard and Julie are still going, I think, like Everready batteries) a goodly number of sonnets/sonnet-like things leaked out of my fingers.

This surprised me, especially given my long meditation on why I don’t write in forms. Nevertheless, it happened. And now comes the point of revision.

To revise, I have to understand the sonnet. Now I understand the classical forms, the way anybody with a first degree in literature understands them. But what I don’t know is what’s going on with sonnets in the twentieth century (not to mention the twenty-first — but there seems to be a return to the classical forms to some extent, with some playing against those forms, some tension).

After consultation with Howard, I returned to the place at PFFA where Andrea was having the same questions — two threads on the parameters of the sonnet:

I’d like to know more about this poem (“Leda and the Swan”)
14 lined poems written in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme

and learned some things. I also got re-exposed to a poem that helps me comprehend a little the elasticity of the sonnet, Hopkins’ “The Windhover” (thanks, Harry!).

How does this help? Dunno yet. But I’m open for input, that’s for sure.


4 thoughts on “Sonnets, so help me

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