The SONNET is a poem, properly expressive of a single, complete thought, idea, or sentiment. It consists of 14 lines, usually in iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according to one of certain definite schemes. In the strict or Italian form it is divided into a major group of 8 lines (the octave) followed by a minor group of 6 lines (the sestet). An a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a pattern became the standard for Italian sonnets. For the sestet there were two different possibilities: c-d-e-c-d-e and c-d-c-c-d-c. In time, other variants on this rhyming scheme were introduced, such as c-d-c-d-c-d.

The English form breaks the poem into 3 quatrains followed by a couplet. Each line contains ten syllables and is written in iambic pentameter, in which a pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable is repeated five times (da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM). The rhyme scheme in a Shakespearean (English) sonnet is a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g; the last two lines are a rhyming couplet. Alternate Rhyme Scheme: a-a-b-b, c-c-d-d, e-e-f-f, g-g

More detailed information on the SONNET may be found here:



She’s elderly.  Some say she’s always been.
So wise is she in how she spends her time
A model of her Savior’s love toward men
Her body, frail; her grace is in its prime.
He isn’t who he feels he ought to be
He feels no kindness toward his fellow man
In prayer, he bows his head and lifts a plea,
To change his heart, as only Jesus can.
I wish to be a mirror of His love,
To see you through His warm and tender eyes,
Emit the grace I’m undeserving of,
Become like Him:  accepting, kind, and wise.
So thankful Jesus scraped away our dross –
This sinless One bore all upon the cross.

Copyright © – Marie Elena Good 2012



Love is the tender trap that snares the heart,
from eyes’ first glance the ember’s passions start.
And so to bless two souls in search of love,
who in each other’s heartbeats they do move.

The snare so baited lures her to his arms
where he becomes enraptured by her charms.
A gentle hold upon him she does reign,
to touch his very life and soul again.

He, once the hunter now becomes the prey,
the tender trap is set to save his way,
a sanctuary there within each chest;
a safety sure, procured in nurture’s nest.

Evasive hearts surrender, for ’tis true,
there is a tender trap set just for you!

Copyright © – Walter J. Wojtanik 2012


  1. Marie, Walt – both are beautiful.
    Thank You (I think) for the new CHALLENGE, I always wondered how to put a sonnet together. This will take some doing. 🙂

    • Absolutely exquisite sonnets you two … anyone can write free verse (according to Robert Frost …) but it takes real poets to write to form; you both have proven real poetic mettle here … fine work.

  2. Two lovely sonnets – my favourite form. Walt: were the missing apostrophes intentional in 1st and 3rd quatrains? With apology from the apostrophe police!


    To write a poem only counting syllables
    is, to the meter, murder most despicable.

    Iambic rhythm has a special flow
    without it every sonnet lacks the glow

    of music to the soul and makes me sigh,
    frustrated, gaze in anguish at the sky.

    De da, de da, de da, de da, de da
    is how you’re meant to write—it’s not so hard.

    You’re free to break the rule by just a little
    but you forget the rhythm at your peril.

    Think Wand’ring lonely as a big white cloud
    Go on then, say it, read it, out aloud.

    Think Curfew tolls the knell of parting day
    to send those lumpy rhythms on their way.

    • Viv, love this. I’m pondering your stanza style…I think sonnets need to be read aloud for their full beauty. Thank-you for your inspirational nudge:)

      personally, I LOVE the sonnet above all other forms.

    • Viv – wonderful.
      I am beginning to understand why I did not understand the Sonnet layout. There is more than one way to do it! 🙂

    • Viv:
      “to WRITE a PO em ON ly COUNT ing SYL a BLES” or, you could be saying: “to WRITE a POME (diff pronunciation here) onLY countING syl A bles
      is also incorrect.

      (you’ve got an extra daDUM in this first line that should not be there) iambic pentameter= daDUM, daDUM, daDUM, daDUM, daDUM. (5 unstressed syllables and 5 stressed. It is either correct or it isn’t.
      You can’t play around with the rules in a Petrarchan or Shakespearean sonnet. I had a tough teacher, so know I am
      correct in this. I guess one may write a ‘modern’ sonnet and the
      meter can be “bent” any way you like …but I do not call that a true sonnet.

  4. Walt, you snare us with you first line:) Love, love this poem esp. this ‘He, once the hunter now becomes the prey, and the final two lines.

    Marie, I needed your words this morning. Thank-you. The last two lines keep us facing forward and Home! Beautiful hope.

  5. This is a fall sonnet I re-edited a few weeks ago…I do hope to write a fresh one as well:)

    Softly you laugh, and vex me with your kiss
    crumbling my will to ignore your bold fire
    as I relent to cinnabar desire
    roused by the hints of autumn-tinted bliss
    glinting upon the zephyr’s ruddiness
    You strut across my firmly planted ire
    and never pause to even once inquire
    if I should seek a lover such as this
    You overthrow my sanguine-steeped intent
    to disdain your winning works of art
    Why is it now, that I cannot resent
    the lavishness your fingertips impart
    as you prey on love’s languishing lament
    and thus seduce my true-blue summer heart?


    Methinks the earth reserves its utter-best
    to soothe the summer-heart’s acquiescent sigh
    for bluer is autumn’s pure-azure dye
    than summer’s satisfying sapphire crest
    imbuing expectation’s blind request
    The embellishing of cloud-tumbled sky
    draws the stoic gaze of hope’s devoted eye
    rendering her quite speechless and impressed
    as gently she relinquishes her will
    advancing slowly ‘cross a rustling floor
    caressed with weightless teardrops as they spill
    from walnut, maple, birch; soundless they pour
    Arabesque comfort bleeds from autumn’s chill
    painting its parting on earth’s auburn shore


    No longer do I seek to quell its glance
    as drooping lashes spark the two-toned breeze
    igniting laughter of the scarlet trees
    and suddenly this summer-heart must dance;
    kiss sorrow from the lips of circumstance
    Heaven designs rare moments such as these
    of musty grapes and lumb’ring honey-bees
    mesmerizing grief within its trance
    Fall sonnets trickle from the russet vine
    in tendrils of a reminiscent croon
    as love and loss and longing intertwine,
    the scent of dusk scatters the afternoon
    How full the umber draught of autumn’s wine
    Earth’s pining slumbers ‘neath the harvest moon

  6. One Certainty Abides…

    Future does not conform to fantasy
    We cannot glimpse the portend of its will
    Nor does it murmur hints of good or ill
    We press in moments to its mystery

    Desires of the heart will ebb and flow
    And fickle are the wishes of our want
    The past seeks to remind, to teach or haunt
    The wise man learns to learn then let it go

    One knows our future’s intricate design
    While we were still a whisper in the womb
    He shaped the numbered days of our bloom
    Into His perfect will our wills resign

    One certainty abides in our defense
    From seeds of choice we reap its consequence

    • Janet, this is strange. I also just wrote about the future. Well, I guess that I’m more scared than you are. A lot of us here fear that US will be divided in a way where riots will be overwhelming. The two American candidates are so extremely different.

      • Andrea, these are extremely uncertain times! Though I’m Canadian my ears are ‘tuned’ to my dear American neighbor/friends both in thoughts and prayer!


    The all-time wisdom in the crystal ball,
    so bright, so tender, so indisputable
    lies here beside me in this golden fall
    of two lives lived so unpredictable.

    Who knows what tomorrow will bring if not
    for Mick Romney and his kind beloved souls?
    Who is talking about a welfare cut?
    Sure isn’t me, is what, he unfolds.

    I pull up my blanket, up to my ears,
    not caring about falls and what’s spinning
    just this wondering: Has this man no fears?
    He’s proclaiming a whole new beginning.

    This has nothing to do with us, you say,
    God bless America, is what I pray.

    • Yes, God bless America! The world waits and wonders, but God already knows.

      thank-you Andrea, for your reminder to pray.

    • Yes, for sure, we are in a ‘who will be chosen mode’. You on the East coast ‘pick good’, by the time the West polls close the choice will have been made.

    • Andrea: the ALL time WISdom IS in CRYS tal BALLS. (you would have to get rid of the determiner, “the” in your first line in order to make your line a true iambic pentameter. Da DUM, Da DUM, DaDUM, DaDUM, DaDUM.

  8. This is the last sonnet I’ll post here today…the remainder of today’s verbiage I will keep on my blog. It’s simply that I LOVE the sonnet, it’s my day off AND it’s raining! This makes for ‘perfect writing conditions’ 🙂

    We Pass This Way But Once…

    We pass this way but once, no trial run
    Time is a live-and-learning entity
    It doles in moments its shadow and sun
    While we accept that what must be will be

    Do moments spiral; do they drip or glide?
    Where is the fount of Time’s ceaseless discourse?
    Without consent we join its forward-slide
    Age keens the senses to its soundless force

    Intangible, its urgent undertow
    Stirs apathy to sudden consciousness
    Of moment-dispensation’s virgin flow
    Into the grasp of human wantonness

    We pass this way but once and we must choose
    The handling of pure moments; use, abuse

  9. Well, here is my first sonnet – on a much lighter subject approach. 🙂

    LITTLE GURU MAN English Sonnet,

    My Little Man is one I do adore.
    He says that he adores me even more.
    He’s quite the fellow at nine inches tall,
    by Guru size, he’s not so very small.

    He loves all sports, can swim and run a race.
    He’s hep to travel and can scoot through space.
    He scooted once his way up to the moon
    to meet ‘the man’ and eat blue cheese with spoon.

    Came back with many tales to tell us all,
    Was crowned the king over the harvest ball
    then danced with many pretty Guru lass
    while most polite to visiting Guru brass.

    So now, it’s back to daily work he must,
    but dreams of long moonbeams and light stardust.



    I know that someday I would have to go,
    for answers that I didn’t want to know.
    Some things we just want to ignore,
    but then we feel some part of us that’s sore.

    So gingerly, I call and set a time,
    and pray that they will nothing find.
    They probe and push, and press me flat
    until I almost faint upon the mat.

    Then when I feel I am in the most despair,
    they want to squeeze the other half of pair.
    I want to run away, but know I can’t,
    hold bladder tight, so not to wet my pant’.

    I dress and quick from office I am gone,
    I want to dance and celebrate with song.

  11. Love all the beautiful sonnets this morning! Unfortunately, sonnets have proven over the years to be my poetic kryptonite (along with the dreaded villanelle.) I think it’s just that my brain has four feet instead of five! If I feel courageous later, I’ll attempt entering that battle one more time. 🙂

  12. The Dirt-Squeezers

    I like the way your hands lift up the soil,
    the way you squeeze and raise it to your nose
    to smell its richness, calculate the toil
    to ready it before each seedling goes

    into it, green and strong. You close your eyes;
    a little smile plows furrows in your face
    as if your nose guides you to paradise,
    as if this soil embodies joy and grace.

    You lift my palm and pour soil in my hand
    still warm from your own hand or from the earth,
    and so I sniff and try to understand
    some lesson offered here, some seed of worth.

    We are dirt-squeezers, bending down to see
    what springs from soil and possibility.

  13. Stumbling Attempts

    If I could find the lighted way
    On which my stumbling feet should tread
    And overcome this doubt and dread
    Which causes my resolve to sway,
    If I could bravely meet each day
    Knowing just which way to head
    And take temptation in good stead
    No matter what the daily fray,
    Perhaps my work would seize upon
    Some meaning now so alien.
    For now, the best that I can do
    Is try to wake my trust each dawn
    And meanly exercise my pen
    In hopes of writing something true.

    • “thatmissr”, you did not stumble until you reached this line:
      “Knowing just which way to head”.
      It reads: DUMda daDUM DUMda da DUM. If you read it aloud, you will ‘hear’ your meter as incorrect. You might have said:” To KNOW just WHICH way ONE might TRY to HEAD” or something similar… DaDUM, DaDUM, DaDUM, DaDUM, DaDUM…

      • It’s my understanding (and I could be wrong) that Italian sonnets are usually, but not always, written in iambic pentameter. Since I’m pretty much allergic to meter, I didn’t actually try to write this in iambic pentameter. 🙂 Thanks for the lesson, though. If enough people try to drill meter into my head, maybe I’ll actually get it someday!

  14. Created to Praise

    Beneath the layers of hair, skin and skull
    Concealed in soft gray matter of the brain
    Synapses firing thoughts both bright and dull
    Stir abilities to choose or refrain

    Are we merely chemicals in a bag,
    With biodegradable working parts,
    That as we grow old, break, wear out and sag?
    Just masses of lungs, livers, kidney’s, hearts?

    Or made in image of Creator God,
    Eternal souls designed for purpose here?
    And though we’re sinful, willful, weak and flawed
    Created to worship with reverent fear?

    God loved the world so much He sent His Son
    And we can choose to be with Him as one

  15. So, I discovered I love reading sonnets, but hate writing them!

    Love Sonnet to Animals

    The years I’ve lived with animals shine
    `though I wept at death that struck too soon.
    Those furry friends that dwelt in this heart of mine
    made scales tip heavily toward joy, not gloom.

    Those unique personalities,
    like eyebrows that rise as if in question
    from side to side, or basset’s tendency
    to hang his head in sad expression.

    A dachshund delighting in digging holes
    while his long-haired sister lay with crossed paws
    disdainful of mud, where brother sought moles;
    my first cat that totaled a couch with his claws.

    All gave their love and companionship,
    with loyalty, and nestled when I was sick.

  16. For The Soon To Be Mrs I Misses

    footprints in the snow, remain by your leave
    heartfelt as you go, sharp pangs of sorrow
    within breast, merely rest, until the morrow
    without you, O brightest day, still I grieve
    visions of sweetest smile in thoughts I weave
    refuge from depressions wintry wallow
    when next we meet, many kisses I’ll borrow
    and count anxious days till our wedded eve
    rejoicing amidst our one life to spend
    time without end ‘neath eternities gaze
    for lessons taught we must learn to bend
    a circular track in a marriage maze
    a subtle and exhilarating trend
    a cappella breezes and love-filled days

    © ~ Randy Bell ~ 2012

  17. Digging

    Is it true that answers loom
    In the vast and gray unknown?
    Have they tenderly been grown
    By some ray despite the gloom?
    Some days I think it is my doom
    To look for answers yet unsown,
    And cling to thoughts that can’t atone
    For all the pain in earth’s great tomb.
    Perhaps these words, so small and bleak,
    Will unearth some mystery
    Buried in primordial earth.
    Perhaps these words, though faint and weak,
    Will somehow help my blind eyes see
    The truth in all its glorious worth.

  18. When will you arrive? (Sonnet)

    When will you arrive mon petit bebe?
    Will your hair be dark or fair as spun gold?
    Blue eyes or brown or something new maybe?
    I long to meet you and in my arms hold.

    The days are longer, the nights ever short
    as you grow and move, keeping me awake;
    Preparing me for when you will hold court
    knowing the life before, I will forsake.

    They say that I glow with inner smiles,
    little lullabies are heard as I hum
    as I sit folding clothes into piles
    dreaming of the little one yet to come.

    For now I sit here rocking my tummy,
    dreaming of the day when I’m your Mummy.

  19. “The Welcome on Easter Island”

    These ancient heads, they speak to heavens, bold;
    their antique voices shout from out the past.
    Harmonic choirs of angels have foretold;
    they sing of man’s redemption which is cast.

    They wait; these icons pitch their heads to lean
    as mesmerized, they view the layered world.
    They stare at holographic, starstruck scene.
    What secret dream had they; what welcome, hurled?

    Now drop two stones in silent-surfaced pond:
    both circles formed will, intermingled, die.
    Below the surface, interference bonds
    as man whose spirit has the wings to fly.

    So, wisdom lies beneath the spreading wave;
    encircles man though spirit not enslaved.

  20. ” …So, wisdom lies beneath the spreading wave;
    encircles man though spirit not enslaved”

    Beautifully written, especially like the last two lines..

    • Thanks, Marjory. But you should have seen this same ‘sonnet’
      before I learned how to write iambic pentameter. I kept an old original copy to compare the difference between controlled meter and no meter. I sincerely thought I was doing it correctly because I “thought” all I needed was a ten syllabic line. And not one person informed me otherwise on until a couple of months ago, when one dear soul let me know what I was doing wrong! I shall be forever grateful. I feel like a bird released from its cage.

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