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      Blogs   05/01/2017

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Tinker

Curtal or Curtailed Sonnet

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
The Sonnet
Sonnet Comparison Chart
Curtal or Curtailed Sonnet is a Petrarchan Sonnet which is proportionately ¾ in size. It is a 19th century innovation by English poet Gerard Anthony Hopkins who prefaced his publication Poems (1918) with an explanation of the verse form which he used in 3 of his sonnets.

The elements of the Curtal sonnet is:

  1. 11 lines, proportionately ¾ of a Petrarchan Sonnet structure, a sixain followed by a quatrain followed by a tail or half line.
  2. metered, L1-L10 iambic pentameter , L11 is trimeter.
  3. rhymed, rhyme scheme abcabc defde.

    Peace by Gerard Manley Hopkins

    Curtal Sonnet by Judi Van Gorder

    For centuries the sonnet held esteem
    with praise for Laura, Juliette and more,
    the lute has even taken up its place.
    Without effort rising up like cream
    the little song can touch us at the core
    with oven birds and stars that race.

    This shortened form has little time to waste
    with condensed rhyme and shorter line
    to finish off the tome without refrain.
    And so, I try to write this poem in haste
    and hope to make it shine.

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