Discussion: Blank Verse: Color PoemTerms 11-16Lecture: Rhyme and Rhyme Schemes/Shakespearian/Petrarchan SonnetsGuided Writing: Sonnets
The ReviewGet in your teams to talk about the termsbelow: 5 minutes!6.Blank Verse7.Meter8.Iamb9.Metaphor10. Simile
Discussion Subject Blank Verse and your color poem Read a stanza or two from your poems to the others in your group. Identify the conventions used in each. Blank verse (iambic pentameter) Metaphor/simile Alliteration Assonance Onomatopoeia Other?
6. Rhyme The matching of final vowel or consonant sounds in two or more words. The following stanza of "Richard Cory" employs alternate rhyme, with the third line rhyming with the first and the fourth with the second:Whenever Richard Cory went down town,We people on the pavement looked at him;He was a gentleman from sole to crownClean favored and imperially slim.
7. Feminine RhymeA rhyme either of two syllables of which the second isunstressed (double rhyme) as in motion, notion, or of threesyllables of which the second and third are unstressed (triplerhyme) as in fortunate, importunate. Here is an examplefrom Sonnet 20 – “A womans face with natures own hand”by William Shakespeare A womans face with Natures own hand painted Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion; A womans gentle heart, but not acquainted With shifting change, as is false womens fashion;
8. Internal RhymesRhyming of two words within the same line of poetry. Thefollowing, for example, is from Edgar Allan Poe’s “TheRaven”: Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. `Tis some visitor, I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door - Only this, and nothing more.
9. Slant RhymesSlant rhymes are sometimes called imperfect, partial, near,oblique, or off rhymes. It is rhyme in which two words sharejust a vowel sound (assonance – e.g. “heart” and “star”) or inwhich they share just a consonant sound (consonance – e.g.“milk” and “walk”). Slant rhyme is a technique perhaps morein tune with the uncertainties of the modern age than strongrhyme. The following example is also from Seamus Heaney’s“Digging”: Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun
10. Eye RhymesRhyme on words that look the same but which are actually pronounceddifferently – for example “bough” and “rough.” The opening four lines ofShakespeare’s Sonnet 18, for example, go: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
11. Identical RhymesSimply using the same word twice. An example is in (someversions of) Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could not Stop forDeath”: We paused before a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground— The Roof was scarcely visible— The Cornice—in the Ground—
How to Mark Rhyme Scheme• Put an “a" in the right margin after the first line. Then, mark every following line that ends rhymes (remember the many different kinds of rhyme) with an “a.”• The first new rhyme sound that occurs after line one gets marked with a “b." In all likelihood, this will be line two. Every line that rhymes with it also gets the “b" notation.• Mark every new rhyme with the next letter of the alphabet. Be careful not to introduce unnecessary new letters. Check back to the beginning of the poem if you think a sound already has a letter to identify it.• Look at the fully marked-up poem. Notice any patterns in the rhyming. Determine if the structure identifies a fixed-poem structure.
Example of Marking Rhyme Scheme Stanza Two from “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe• Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, a And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. b Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow c From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore - b For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore b• -Nameless here for evermore. b
I THINK that I shall never see aA poem lovely as a tree. a “Trees”A tree whose hungry mouth is prest b Joyce KilmerAgainst the sweet earths flowing breast bA tree that looks at God all day 5 cAnd lifts her leafy arms to pray; c These are examples of coupletsA tree that may in summer wear dA nest of robins in her hair; dUpon whose bosom snow has lain; eWho intimately lives with rain. 10 ePoems are made by fools like me, fBut only God can make a tree. f
Only until This Cigarette is EndedEdna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) Let’s doOnly until this cigarette is ended, this oneA little moment at the end of all,While on the floor the quiet ashes fall, togetherAnd in the firelight to a lance extended,Bizarrely with the jazzing music blended,The broken shadow dances on the wall,I will permit my memory to recallThe vision of you, by all my dreams attended.And then adieu,--farewell!--the dream is done.Yours is a face of which I can forgetThe colour and the features, every one,The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;But in your day this moment is the sunUpon a hill, after the sun has set.
Sonnet Conventions• 14 lines• Strict rhyme scheme• Specific structure• We’re going to talk about three specific types o Shakespearean (English) o Petrarchan (Italian) o Spenserian
Shakespearian Spenserian• Form: 14 lines: three quatrains • Form: 14 lines: three quatrains followed by a couplet. followed by a couplet.• Content: It is essential that a sonnet • Content: It is essential that a sonnet contain a “turn” or “volta.” Often the contain a “turn” or “volta.” Often the first two quatrains explain a problem first two quatrains explain a problem or ask a question. The last quatrain or ask a question. The last quatrain and the couplet offer a solution to and the couplet offer a solution to the problem or an answer to the the problem or an answer to the question. Sometimes this does not question. Sometimes this does not occur until the final couplet, where it occur until the final couplet, where it is a commentary on the previous 12 is a commentary on the previous 12 lines. lines.• Meter: Iambic pentameter • Meter: Iambic pentameter o Unstressed, stressed pattern o Unstressed, stressed pattern • Detroit Five feet (10 • Detroit Five feet (10 syllables) syllables)• Rhyme scheme: • Rhyme scheme: o abab, cdcd, efef, gg o abab, bcbc, cdcd, ee
Petrarchan• Form: 14 lines: octave and a sestet• Content: The octave forms proposition that describes problem, asks question, or sets situation. The sestet proposes turn or resolution.• Meter: Iambic pentameter o Unstressed, stressed pattern • Detroit Five feet (10 syllables)• Rhyme scheme:• octave: o abba abba• Rhyme scheme for sestet: o Can be arranged in various ways: cdcdcd cdccdc cdecde cdcdee
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?Thou art more lovely and more temperate.Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, Sonnet 18And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. William ShakespeareSometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,And often is his gold complexion dimmed,And every fair from fair sometime declines,By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed;But thy eternal summer shall not fadeNor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shadeWhen in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Shakespearean Sonnet Form and StructureIambic_________pentameter_________ 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 Quatrain And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. B octave Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, C And often is his gold complexion dimmed, D And every fair from fair sometime declines, C Quatrain D By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed;Volta__________ But thy eternal summer shall not fade E F Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Quatrain Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade E sestet When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st. F So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, G14 Lines! G Couplet So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
The SubjectShall I compare thee to a summer’s day?Thou art more lovely and more temperate:• The speaker starts by asking whether he should compare his subject to with a summer’s day. Then, instead of considering that further, he gives us a thesis of sorts. The object of his description is more "lovely" and more "temperate" than a summer’s day.
Lines 3-8• Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;• These line focus on a personification of nature, explaining the cycles of life and details of summer.
Lines 7-8• And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;• With these lines, the speaker gets even broader in his philosophy, declaring that everything beautiful must eventually fade away and lose its charm, either by chance or by the natural flow of time.
The Turn: Lines 9-10• But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,• Here is a classic example of a "turn." Suddenly (though it was foreshadowed a bit in line 8), the tone and direction of the poem change dramatically: the speaker pronounces that the person he’s speaking to isn’t subject to all of these rules of nature. The speaker argues that, unlike the real summer, his beloved’s summer will never end nor will his/her beauty ever fade.
Lines 11-14Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.Shakespeare shatters the fourth wall and successfullypredicts that this poem will continue to be read, analyzed, andre-analyzed for all time. In other words, by allowing us to tryto give life to "thee" (figuring out who he/she was), thespeaker and the poem itself give "thee" life.
Amoretti LXX: Fresh spring the herald of loves mighty king The Spenserian Sonnet The quatrains are addressed to spring, who Spencer asks to stir his love to action In this last couplet, the speaker changes from addressing spring to addressing his beloved. He tells her to hurry up while the times is still "prime" (spring), because you cannot get back the time that you have wasted.
John Donne: Petrarchan Sonnet72. "Death be not proud, though some have called thee" a b b a Octave a b b a c d d Sestet c a a
The Turn (Volta)• Like the Shakespearian and Spenserian convention, a Petrarchan sonnet has a shift, or "turn," in the argument or subject matter somewhere in the poem. Usually, the turn occurs at line 9 to coincide with the introduction of a new rhyme scheme. We are presented there with a logical or emotional shift by which the speaker enables himself to take a new or altered or enlarged view of his subject.• The volta, though not the sharpest turn in sonnets, comes when Donne addresses Fate and Chance. While people often assume we are slaves to Death, Donne points out that Fate and Chance enslave him. At this point Donne no longer suggests Death lose his arrogance, but boasts of the worthlessness and foolishness of Death.• If you want to rebel, you can argue that the real turn doesn’t happen until the middle of the last line, when Donne drops this shocker: "Death, thou shalt die.”
HOW TO WRITE A SONNET1. Decide the purpose and audience of the sonnet.2. Choose a specific topic (not the title, yet).3. List things you could say about your topic.4. Find a relationship between the ideas, audienceand purpose.5. Write down a 14-line sequence of statements.6. Convert the 14 lines into rhyming iambicpentameter.7. Note specific problem areas.8. Edit the sonnet.9. Choose a title.Revised from Katherine Beckett’s “How to write a sonnet” http://www.calligraphy-skills.com/how-to-write-a-sonnet.html
1. Decide the Purpose and Audience of the Sonnet. Start by deciding the purpose the sonnet must serve and the audience it’s intended for. Forget for just a moment about how to write the sonnet. Think instead about whos going to read it and what effect you want it to have on them. EXAMPLE: Write a sonnet as a Mother’s Day gift. The purpose is to make mom feel a warm glow on Mothers Day. Audience is Mom. Perhaps your sonnet is just for you to read. It will still be read by a different you at a different time. What is it that you want to make yourself think, feel, or remember when you read it?
2: Choose a specific topic Specific, definite, limited topics are good because a sonnet is a short poem. Almost any topic can be made to serve your purpose and audience. Since a sonnet has to show some movement and change anyway, it’s often useful to start in a different place from where you think you might end up. EXAMPLE: if you decide to write a sonnet only on the topic of ‘my mom,’ you will end up with a description of her, or a set of memories, or something similar – it will be a motionless poem in that it will simply circle about on the same topic. But if you try to write a sonnet with more motion in its subject matter, by starting with Mom and then moving on, your sonnet will end up on a topic other than her. You want it to end about her. So start with something that isn’t your mom, and then you can move the subject of the sonnet on to her.
Choosing a Topic You dont have to pick a minutely focused topic at random -- but it will probably help to choose a topic that is only loosely connected with your more general subject-matter, if its connected at all. Think of Shakespeare writing about his beloved; his immediate topic is actually how he isnt going to compare her with a summers day. For example, you could choose a topic as random as a Persian rug.
3: Find Things to Say This stage of writing a sonnet has nothing to do with rhyme or rhythm. You’re just jotting down what you think about the subject (the Persian rug), especially any points that you feel might be relevant to your audience (your mom) and purpose (to make mom feel a warm glow on Mothers Day). Around eight to twelve ideas should give you enough to get an idea of how to write the sonnet. Fewer and you might run out of material; more and it may be hard to focus. You need enough ideas to find some kind of connection between them in the next step. Dont try to only think of good ideas. Just write them down as they come. You will be amazed what turns out to be useful.
4: Find a Relationship between the Elements Imagine how your ideas might link to each other. You want to find some background relationship between (a) the specific topic you’ve chosen and (b) its purpose and audience. Play around with different ideas and structures and don’t be afraid to discard anything you’re not entirely happy with. EXAMPLE: similarities between a Persian rug and mom: age, gets better with time, love etc. Start by working out how to write a sonnet to the rug (‘Ode to a Carpet) and then twist it around from the ninth line to be really addressed to Mom.
Relationship between the Elements (continued) Link your concept to feelings from home or other reminder of mom: welcoming: she talks and listens, offers good food, has a sense of humor, plenty of patience and a talent for making people feel comfortable. The rug might evoke those sorts of ideas: warmth, friendliness, goodness, belonging. This is an important part of how to write a sonnet as it establishes the background theme. Now, fish for any divine inspiration. But, if there isnt any, logic will do just as well; direct comparison and contrast are time-honored devices; or some sort of pun or twist may hold the subjects together. There just has to be some sort of link.
5: Write a sequence of ideas in 14 lines Write 14 lines, each line of which expresses an idea about roughly what you want to say. (The poem doesn’t have to rhyme or keep to a beat yet.) EXAMPLE: Jot down four ideas about the first topic for the first four lines (or quatrain). Here they are for the Persian rug: My rug goes with me everywhere – wherever I go, I take it. It makes me feel good to look at it with its red, brown and white roses-and-daisies pattern. I like to imagine the person who wove it thinking (in Persian): That was probably about sixty years ago, maybe even a little more.
Sequence of Ideas (continued) Now, in the second quatrain, develop that initial theme by saying more about the colors in the rug: EX: Anyway, here it is still, my rug, making my home for me in the here and now. I remember the carpet-seller told me about the dyes they used to use in those days. They were all from nature: indigo, walnuts, madder, with plain cotton for white. He said, the color from these dyes gets softer and brighter with time.
Sequence of Ideas (continued) At the ninth line, which is where the ‘volta’ or turn takes place, shift the perspective, idea, subject.) EX: It’s true, you know, and you’re the same, you get better and better as years pass. The more I live, the more I appreciate what makes me feel warm and happy. When I see you again no matter after how long it feels good to be at home with you. Even though I make my own home where my rug is, you’re the real thing. Note the movement from rug to mom. Remember, this turn is an essential convention of the sonnet.
Sequence of Ideas (continued) Now you need to write the last two lines. Think about how to wrap up your poem, still thinking about your purpose, audience, topic, and connections! EX: If I were Persian, I’d have a bone-china tea-pot painted with roses and daisies. Something warm and lovely from far away to remind me you’re always close. This is awfully sweet, perhaps, but it brings together the ideas so far. There we are: fourteen lines on a Persian rug and mom.
6: Convert the 14 Lines to Rhyming Iambic Pentameter This is the most demanding part of writing a sonnet: working your fourteen lines of raw material into rhyming iambic pentameter. Choose your rhyme-scheme now. Not the actual rhyming words, just the pattern of rhymes you want to work with. Remember, Shakespearian sonnets go abab cdcd efef gg; Spenserian sonnets go abab bcbc cdcd ee; Petrarchan sonnets often go abbaabba cdecde/cdccdc/cdecde/cdcdee You are about to sacrifice some parts of your text, add to other parts, move ideas around and perhaps bend the grammar a little. You might even scrap some sections and start them again.
7: Read Through The Work So Far, Noting Any Problem Areas By now you should have fourteen rhythmic, rhyming lines. It’s time to put everything together and read it through, trying to look at it objectively, as though someone else was learning how to write a sonnet and you were helping them improve it. It will help to read it out loud.
Example with possible comments on problem areas1 Wherever I go, my Persian rug goes too.2 I love its abstract roses-and-daisies design.3 It’s more than six decades now since it was new,*4 And its weaver thought, “I’m proud to call this mine.”**5 Now it means my home wherever I go,6 Warm with walnut, indigo and madder dye.7 The seller said, “Age makes such colors glow***8 Softer and brighter as the years go by.”9 And you – have you got better, or have I10 Better learned to recognize good things?11 What is my rug, except to signify****12 The warmth and gladness that your welcome brings?13 Perhaps my weaver kept a Wedgwood plate*****14 And smiled to think of Mum each time he ate. *Third line – awkward rhythm, too long. **Fourth line – ‘And’ is too sudden, doesn’t link up with the previous line well, and in fact the whole line is clunky-sounding. ***Line 7 – I don’t like ‘Age’ and ‘glow’ there; they stick out somehow. I think I must have meant ‘grow’. And I’m not sure about the seller’s direct speech. It is too dominant for the tiny walk-on part he plays in this sonnet. ****Line 11 – it sounds really pretentiously philosophical to ask ‘What is my rug, except …’! *****Line 13 - ‘My weaver’ seems odd.
8: edit the sonnet to create a final draft You know how to write a sonnet. You almost have a sonnet. At this point its easy to get impatient. But it can still help a great deal to put the sonnet aside for a few hours in order to get a fresh impression of it on re-reading. Your goal during the editing stage is to trim and shape the sonnet so it flows more smoothly and clearly, less awkwardly, more rhythmically.
9: Choose a Title There are very few if any rules for giving titles to sonnets. An expressive title adds another dimension and can even alter or enhance the whole meaning of the poem. The title should ideally be a word or phrase that helps to add new meaning or depth to your sonnet.
10: The Finished ProductGood ThingsWherever I go, my Persian rug goes too.I love its abstract roses-and-daisies design.More than sixty years ago, brand-new,It made its weaver proud to say, “That’s mine.”Now it makes my home wherever I go,Warm with walnut, indigo and madder dye.The seller showed me how such colors growSofter and brighter as the years go by.And you – have you got better, or have IBetter learned to recognize good things?I like to think my rug could signifyThe kind of warmth your welcome presence brings.Perhaps that weaver kept a Wedgwood plateAnd smiled to think of Mum each time he ate.• Katherine Scarfe Beckett
Homework• Post #3: Sonnet: Shakespearian, Petrarchan, or Spenserian• Reading: Sestina/Villanelle• Study Terms 1-16