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Explore the Craft of Writing PoetryThe Sonnet / Lavian Poetry


Rainis Sonnet is a short meditation. Whether or not it is a true sonnet is up for debate. It is a lyrical meditation with a turn or volta, however it is shorter than the usual quatorzain of the sonnet. It is named for the Latvian philosopher and poet Janis Rainis (1868-1929)


Rainis Sonnet is:

  • written in 9 lines made up of a quatrain, followed by a tercet ending with a couplet.
  • metered, primarily iambic pentameter.
  • rhymed, turned on only 3 rhymes. Rhyme scheme abab (cbc or cac) and (aa or bb or cc).
  • written with the epiphany arriving in the tercet.


    Fire at the Core

    by Judi Van Gorder


    Religion can become a boring chore,

    a habit played back over many times.

    The righteous flame is snuffed beneath the score

    becoming mindless rote like nursery rhymes.


    We struggle to renew the fire of faith

    and long to feel the thrill when hearing chimes

    that bid the faithful sing at Easter rathe.


    I will keep knocking on my Father's door

    convinced that truth and love dwell at the core.

    Yacht Club, Sunday Night

    by Tõnis Veenpere


    Now, in the muffled thump-thud-thump of after,

    a couple of Coasties, drinking, bump and grind;

    now, somewhere in a corner, nervous laughter

    hints at her words, which he was disinclined

    to listen to, to parse, or understand.

    While digging out a pearl, he soiled that oyster --

    it's something that just happened, wasn't planned --

    and now, it's getting harder to withstand

    not touching her; he's jealous of her hand.

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