Briefly: Sonnets

Hey guys, how have you been?

I’m taking a poetry class this semester and it’s so much fun. I’m learning a lot about the history of various forms, reading so many great pieces I never would have found myself as well as experimenting with these new mediums. I thought I’d ‘briefly’ share what I’m learning and discovering with you guys in the hopes that you’ll learn something too 🙂

Disclaimer: I’ll always try provide the most accurate information possible but if I misinterpret something I’ve read or my lecturer has said or if my imitation of a style doesn’t actually quite work for some reason, absolutely let me know so I can try improve!


This week we learnt about the sonnet, which I’ve discovered can be absolute gems to read despite, or perhaps because of how short they are.

History:

A sonnet is a form of poetry composed of fourteen lines & usually iambic*, originating from Italy with two main subsets: the Petrarchan sonnet and the Shakespearean sonnet.

Francesco Petrach (1304-1374) brought widespread attention to the form in his book – Canzoniere, a collection of 366 poems, of which 317 were sonnets written to an idealised lover, Laura.

Believe it or not, this is where the Petrarchan Sonnet was born.

Form: 8 lines/6 lines, rhyme scheme*: ababcdcd (octave) / cdecde (sestet).

Content: one of the most distinctive markers of a sonnet is the change in tone between the two sections of the poem, whether it’s initially asking a broad question in the first stanza and then providing an answer in the second or something else, there must be some type of shift in perspective.

Interesting fact: By looking at the rhyme scheme, you can tell that Italian has much more rhyme built into its language compared to English.

Two hundred years later, Thomas Wyatt became one of the first champions of the sonnet in England both translating Petrach’s work and creating his own. His friend & contemporary, Henry Howard, the Earl of Surry also tried to do the same. Both men are known for making modifications to the structure to make it more suitable for English, creating what is now known as the Shakespearean sonnet.

Why is it called the Shakespearean sonnet? Quite simply, Shakespeare was good at it, wrote a lot of it and was the one that really popularised the form in English.

Form: 8 lines/4 lines/ 2 lines, rhyme scheme: ababcdcd / efef gg.

Content: the couplet (gg) at the end of the poem is crucial as it differs the SS (Shakespearean sonnet) from the PS (Petrarchan sonnet) in that it could introduce a crescendo to the poem or introduce a quick turn of events and go against everything else said in the poem.

One of my personal favourites, out of the very few I’ve read: (Sonnet 65, William Shakespeare)

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Continue reading “Briefly: Sonnets”

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Internal Monologue of the Innkeeper

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every night,
I deliver my elixirs
of counterfiet happiness
to weary travellers
looking for
something more
to live for
but cannot find
anything beyond
the belly of the beast.

their journeys
have sapped their sensibilities,
turning them
into passive accomplices
of the monster of death
so today,
(or rather, every day)
they light up their necromancy sticks
and summon the reaper.

he greets me
in the form of wispy white tendrils
that soon wrap around my mind,
clouding any thought of escape.
taunting me with a deep kiss,
he leaves me breathless,
eyes stinging and throat burning
from the aftertaste of resignation.

he wants me
to always keep him
at the back of my mind
and who am I to complain
when I am nothing more than
an insignificant side character
at a pitstop
in these strangers’ adventures?

so I offer him a wager,
gambling on my future,
by hedging my bets on today.
in other words,
it’s just another typical night
at the inn.

Continue reading “Internal Monologue of the Innkeeper”

10PM

“lets have maple syrup sex before bed
make sugar coated memories
and swallow to forget what you said
fill my bloodstream with endorphins
before I taste the bitterness of her tongue in your kiss
if only ignorance could fill my lungs
with artificial bliss.”

2AM

she killed a man with a psychedelic swirl of an ice cream lick
after he told her to swallow his –
quick bitch quick
years of dripping icicles into her mind,
finally –
brain freeze
– can’t think –
– can’t breathe –
she was taught that every action
has an equal
but opposite reaction
so she didn’t understand why
when she let him feel her pain
then again
and again
and again
to burn life into his frosted heart
he was so damn silent

6AM

the last thing she remembers
is waking up to the aftertaste of his spilt coca cola
drowning pills of every shade of emotion

so words could not bubble to the surface
she wanted everything to be flat

only leaving a numbing artificial sweetness behind
let simple thoughts fill her mind –
the grass is green
the ocean is blue
and the sky is bleeding red
the wind caresses her bones
moving her palpitating heart and trembling lips
to dance beyond the darkness of the night
the sun is rising yet she is no longer a creature
of the light

#3 Ode

definition: a lyric poem, typically one in the form of an address to a particular subject, written in varied or irregular metre (a classical poem of a kind originally meant to be sung)


Mayflies.

Mayflies spend a year awaiting their birth, and then most die after living just one day. Their sole purpose is to pass on their genes.

we all are born
bright eyed like mayflies
on a linear path
to our own demise
no purpose but to 

die 

but that doesn’t mean we won’t
try find meaning to a short lived life
no time to cry
fly towards the light
quickly, before –
good night.


Leaves.

if my hope for humanity
had to be stored somewhere
I would place it
in a seed
planted into the palms of lovers
entwined love
grows a giant oak tree
eve’s apple
bleeds humanity
yet
I see some leaves are caressed by the sun
while others

   a

       l

          l
silently
littering roadsides,
trampled over,
so carelessly
even though the shared roots suggest
we are all children from the same family tree


#1 #2 #3

Dying Before Death

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One of the worst things that happens after you die –
is that you leave no trace behind.

Eventually, memories once treasured will fade
betrayed by time
until one day you are just a name
in the graveyard
for children to make up stories for.

but that is nothing compares to being forgotten
when you’re still alive
forced to contrive meaning to a meaningless life
finding solace in insignificant details
if only to relieve that pressing feeling
against your ribcage that
you
are insignificant

Continue reading “Dying Before Death”