Want to try writing a sonnet?





“The poem, “My Letters! all dead paper…”(Sonnet 28) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is an example of an Italian sonnet. The rhyming words are shown in bold, and the rhyme scheme is represented in the letters at the end of each line.

My letters! all dead paper, mute and white! (a)
And yet they seem alive and quivering (b)
Against my tremulous hands which loose the string (b)
And let them drop down on my knee tonight. (a)

This said he wished to have me in his sight (a)
Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring (b)
To come and touch my hand. . . a simple thing, (b)
Yes I wept for it�this . . . the paper’s light. . .(a)

Said, Dear, I love thee; and I sank and quailed (c)
As if God’s future thundered on my past. (d)
This said, I am thine�and so its ink has paled (c)
With lying at my heart that beat too fast. (d)
And this . . . 0 Love, thy words have ill availed (c)
If, what this said, I dared repeat at last!.”(d)

The English /Shakespearean sonnet has the following, looser rhyme scheme:

  • abab
  • cdcd
  • efef
  • gg

Let’s look at a Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18.” Once again, the rhyming words are shown in bold, and the rhyme scheme is reflected in the letters at the end of each line.

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)”

About Katherine

I like art, poetry,history, literature,cooking,doing nothing to music.And conversation
This entry was posted in Thinkings and poems. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Want to try writing a sonnet?

  1. mikeoxon says:

    I seem to recall learning at school that an Italian Sonnet could have the rhyming scheme:
    cde cde
    I’ve not looked for examples but perhaps you’ll know.
    I’m intrigued by the photo – is it a large tree-stump?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate4grace says:

      You are probably right. and I made a mistake.Yes,it is a cherry tree which was old and very nice.Our cat used to run up it when I went to post letters.I heard the noise …….


  2. Thank you for this Kathryn….you have explained beautifully…..hope you have a lovely weekend….with lots of writing. I will be painting 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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