A sonnet…has 14 linesmust be written in iambic pentametermust follow a specific rhyme scheme, depending on the type of sonnetcan be about any subject, though they are often about love or natureintroduces a problem or question in the beginning, and a resolution is offered after the turn
2 line stanzas: Couplets3 line stanzas: Tercets orTriplets (aaa bbb ccc ddd)4 line stanzas: Quatrains5 line stanzas: Quintets6 line stanzas: Sestets7 line stanzas: Septets8 line stanzas: Octaves
It includes three quatrains and a couplet.The rhyme scheme is abab cdcd efef gg.The turn is traditionally after ten lines.
Sonnet 130My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; ACoral is far more red than her lips' red; BIf snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; AIf hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. BI have seen rosesdamask'd, red and white, CBut no such roses see I in her cheeks; DAnd in some perfumes is there more delight CThan in the breath that from my mistress reeks. DI love to hear her speak, yet well I know EThat music hath a far more pleasing sound; FI grant I never saw a goddess go; EMy mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: FThree Quatrains - Introduces the theme or problemAnd yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare GAs any she belied with false compare. GCouplet - Solves the problem or shifts in tone
It includes an octave (eight lines) and a sestet (six lines).The rhyme scheme must begin withabbaabba, and can conclude with any variation of c, d, and e (cdecde,cdcdee, etc.).The turn must occur between the octave and the sestet.
"London, 1802"Milton! thoushouldstbe living at this hour: AEngland hath need of thee: she is a fen BOf stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, BFireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, AHave forfeited their ancient English dower AOf inward happiness. We are selfish men; BOh! raise us up, return to us again; BAnd give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.AOctave - Introduces the theme or problemThy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart; CThouhadsta voice whose sound was like the sea: DPure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, DSo didst thou travel on life's common way, EIn cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart CThe lowliest duties on herself did lay. ESestet - Solves the problem
It includes three quatrains connected by the interlocking rhyme scheme and followed by a couplet.The rhyme scheme is,abab, bcbc, cdcd, eeThe three quatrains develop three distinct but closely related ideas, with a different idea (or commentary) in the couplet.
Sonnet LXXVOne day I wrote her name upon the strand, ABut came the waves and washed it away; BAgain I wrote it with a second hand, ABut came the tide and made my pains his prey. B"Vain man," said she, "that dost in vain assay BA mortal thing so to immortalize, CFor I myself shall like to this decay, BAnd eke my name be wiped out likewise C"Not so." quod I, "Let baser thing deviseCTo die in dust, but you shall live by fame;DMy verse your virtues rare shall eternize CAnd in the heavens write your glorious name, DWhere, when as death shall all the world subdue, EOur love shall live, and later life renew." E