Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Bard's Sonnets

A Bard's Sonnets

Champion, in the world of writing plays, William Shakespeare also became the master of the sonnet, and all of his writings ring as meaningful today as when he wrote them. One hundred and fifty four sonnets were compiled and printed in 1609 under his name.

His sonnets had structure: written in rhyming iambic pentameter of ten syllables per line divided into five feet per line, each of these feet were composed of one unstressed syllable and one stressed. This rhythm can be heard by the reader or listener in it's drumming of "baBoom" five times over in each line. His rhyme scheme, in poetic lingo, was : abab,cdcd,efef, and gg.

William wrote 14 line sonnets configured in three quatrains of four lines each, in which he developed a problem or a theme and then followed them with a couplet that resolves or sums up the issue. Definitive were his sonnets while holding on to a confining structure. Shakespeare was the sonnets' master and was rewarded by having sonnets written in his style named after him these past centuries, they're called Shakespearian Sonnets.

Except for the difficulty of writing in iambic pentameter, the other constructs of his style of writing sonnets are not too difficult to master. I have struggled many years to write a well constructed Shakespearian Sonnet but they don't seem to cut the mustard. Poor as they seem, I still publish them, because they ring well in content to me. I am competing with no one but myself and for those few who may read them for their content. I may only hope you are one of those who are willing to join me in my folly.

Ronald C. Downie

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