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Couplet Sonnet or Clare Sonnet

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
The Sonnet Chart
Sonnet Comparison Chart

The Couplet Sonnet is as its name implies a sonnet made up of couplets. It is also referred to as The Clare Sonnet after John Clare, English Poet, 1793-1864. This verse form has been around for awhile and it could be a variation of the Cyhydedd Fer Sonnet or the other way around.  

The elements of the Couplet Sonnet are:

  1. a quatorzain is made up 7 heroic couplets.
  2. metered, iambic pentameter.
  3. rhymed aa bb cc dd ee ff gg.
  4. composed with a pivot placed at the poet's discretion.

    Left Behind
    by Judi Van Gorder

    He left her side in sleep, four years before
    to set a place for her on distant shore.
    Reluctantly, she stayed behind, inside
    an ancient shell, ensnared, bereft of pride.
    She paced her chair, up and down the hall
    and blindly sought her husband's unheard call.
    What hidden terrors lurk within the mind
    to cause a woman generous and kind
    to deftly wield a cane with deadly ease
    and bludgeon buttocks, swiftly strike at knees.
    She was subdued and left to fend alone
    in drug induced illusion, world unknown.
    There finally came a day when she fought free
    and sailed to join her love beyond the lea.


    (in memory of my maternal grandparents,
    married 1912; Ernest William Herron 1890-1986

    and Cora Jennet Grimes Herron 1895-1990)                              

    Sunday Dip by John Clare  (1793 -1864)

    The morning road is thronged with merry boys
    Who seek the water for their Sunday joys;
    They run to seek the shallow pit, and wade
    And dance about the water in the shade.
    The boldest ventures first and dashes in,
    And others go and follow to the chin,
    And duck about, and try to lose their fears,
    And laugh to hear the thunder in their ears.
    They bundle up the rushes for a boat
    And try across the deepest place to float:
    Beneath the willow trees they ride and stoop--
    The awkward load will scarcely bear them up.
    Without their aid the others float away,
    And play about the water half the day.





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