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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry The Sonnet Sonnet Comparison Chart The Sonnet is probably one of the most popular verse forms written. Several noted poets have tried their hand and offered a slightly skewed rhyme scheme or stanza arrangement to some of their sonnets resulting in someone emulating and naming the sonnet frame after the poet. Are they legitimate separate sonnet forms or are they simply variations of the Petrarchan or Shakespearean forms, who is to say? Here are a few that you may run across. The American Sonnet or Percival's Sonnet named for James Gates Percival's contributed sonnets with a loose metric rhythm consistent with American speech and a unique rhyme scheme. Percival, (1795-1856), American Poet and Geologist spent many years assisting Noah Webster and contributing to the development of the American Dictionary of the English Language of 1828. The elements of the American Sonnet or Percival's Sonnet are: a quatorzain made up of a quatrain followed by 2 quintains metric, a loose pentameter. rhymed abba accca deeed pivot naturally sometime after the 9th line The Dreaming Soul by James Gates Percival O, there are moments when the dreaming soul Forgets the earth, and wanders far away Into some region of eternal day, Where the bright waves in calm and sunshine roll! Thither it wanders, and has reached a goal;- The good, the great, the beautiful, are there, And wreaths of victory crown their flowing hair; And as they move, such music fills the air As ne'er from fabled bower or cavern stole. Soft to the heart it winds, and hushes deep Its cares and sorrows. Thought then, fancy-free, Flies on from bliss to bliss, till, finding thee, It pauses, as the musk-rose charms the bee, Tranced as in happy dream of magic sleep. Byron's Sonnet is a sonnet form named from George Gordon, Lord Byron's attempts at expanding the rhyme from 2 to 3 rhymes in the octave of the Italian or Petrarchan Sonnet. George Gordon (1788-1824) English "romance" poet ( a bit of a rake, known for his many affairs) and parliamentarian is probably best known for writing the narrative Don Juan and the shorter lyrical work She Walks In Beauty. The elements of Byron's Sonnet are: a quatorzain made up of an octave followed by a sestet. metric, iambic pentameter. rhymed, rhyme scheme abba acca dedede pivot or volta between the octave and sestet. Sonnet to Chillon by George Gordon, Lord Byron Eternal spirit of the chainless mind! Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art, For there thy habitation is the heart, The heart which love of thee alone can bind; And when thy sons to fetters are consigned To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom, Their country conquers with their martyrdom, And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind. Chillon! thy prison is a holy place, And thy sad floor an altar, for 'twas trod, Until his very steps have left a trace Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod, By Bonnivard! - May none those marks efface! For they appeal from tyranny to God. Channing's Sonnet is a slight adjustment to the structure of the Italian or Petrarchan Sonnet. Instead of octave / sestet frame, the sestet is separated as two tercets. (and in reality is the how many view and write the sestet anyway) Modelled after some sonnets said to have been written by American Poet, Author, and Transcendentalist, William Ellery Channing (1818–1901). I have to admit that I don't know of the title of his sonnets with this frame and I was unable to find an example. Channing is probably better known for his biography of Henry Thoreau. I don't think this is really enough of an adjustment to include here as a separate sonnet form but there are other sites that list it. The elements are: framed with an octave followed by two tercets. Space separates the three stanzas. metric, iambic pentameter, rhymed, rhyme scheme abbaabba cde cde or abbaacca dee dff pivot sometime after the octave Frost's Sonnet couldn't be left off of this list even though it isn't a recognized sonnet frame and I am yet to find it listed elsewhere. Robert Frost, (1874 - 1063) American poet, often wrote in classic form but did create this unique frame for his famous poem The Oven Bird found in his second book North of Boston. The elements of Frost's Sonnet are: a quatorzain made up of a couplet, a sestet, a couplet and a quatrain in that order. metric, loose iambic pentameter rhymed, rhyme scheme aa bcbdcd ee fgfg pivot after the sestet. The Oven Bird by Robert Frost There is a singer everyone has heard. Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird, Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again. He says that leaves are old and that for flowers Mid-simmer is to spring as one to ten. He says the early petal-fall is past, When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers On sunny days a moment overcast; And comes that other fall we name the fall. He says the highway dust is overall. The bird would cease and he as other birds but that he knows in singing not to sing. The question that he frames in all but words Is what to make of a diminished thing. The Shelley Sonnet follows the octave sestet frame but the rhyme is interlocked . Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822) another of England's Romantic poets, is "regarded by some as among the finest lyric poets in the English language." Wikipedia. The elements of the Shelley Sonnet are: a quatorzain made up of 2 quatrains followed by 2 tercets. metric, iambic pentameter rhymed, rhyme scheme abab acdc ede fef pivot after the octave Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away. Tennyson's Sonnet steps out of the 14 line standard adding a 15th line in an octave - septet frame. It also repeats specific end words within the frame. Alfred Lord Tennyson 1809 – 1892, the Victorian poet is among the most popular British poets of his time. The elements of the Tennyson's Sonnet are: framed with an octave followed by a septet (7 lines) not a sestet. metric, iambic pentameter rhymed, rhyme scheme a¹ba²cdccd efea²ba¹fe (the a rhyme is a repetition of end word only, not entire line) pivot after L10 The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson Below the thunders of the upper deep; Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights About his shadowy sides: above him swell Huge sponges of millennial growth and height; And far away into the sickly light, From many a wondrous grot and secret cell Unnumbered and enormous polypi Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green. There hath he lain for ages and will lie Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep, Until the latter fire shall heat the deep; Then once by man and angels to be seen, In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry 1700s Poetic Movements Graveyard Poets, also called Churchyard Poets, were 18th century poets who focused their work on human mortality. The poems often took place in a graveyard. Thomas Gray is probably the best known of these poets. Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Sonnet on the Death of Richard West by Thomas Gray In vain to me the smiling mornings shine, And red'ning Phobus lifts his golden fire; The birds in vain their amorous descant join; Or cheerful fields resume their green attire: These ears, alas! for other notes repine, A different object do these eyes require. My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine; And in my breast the imperfect joys expire. Yet morning smiles the busy race to cheer, And new-born pleasure brings to happier men: The fields to all their wonted tribute bear: To warm their little loves the birds complain: I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hear, And weep the more because I weep in vain. Romanticism was an 18th century movement in reaction the order and balance of the Augustan age. The romantics favored self expression, inspiration and unleashed imagination. It came at a time when the rights of the individual were being asserted. Poets had greater freedom to express themselves with the diminishing of patrons who sponsored the arts. There are many different views of exactly what Romanticism who the poets were but most agree that the names Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge , William Blake, Shelley, and Lord Byran should be included. Ode to the West Wind Part I by Percy Bysshe Shelley O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou, Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave,until Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow| Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) With living hues and odours plain and hill: Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere; Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear! Scriblerus Club is really an association of poets rather than a movement or school. This club was a group of poets who regularly met during 1714 to satirise 'all the false tastes in learning'. Alexander Pope, John Arbuthnot, Jonathan Swift and John Gay were among the group. Acis and Galatea by John Gay Air. Love in her eyes sits playing, And sheds delicious death; Love on her lips is straying, And warbling in her breath; Love on her breast sits panting, And swells with soft desire; Nor grace nor charm is wanting To set the heart on fire. Air. O ruddier than the cherry! O sweeter than the berry! O Nymph more bright Than moonshine night, Like kidlings blithe and merry! Ripe as the melting cluster! No lily has such lustre;|Yet hard to tame As raging flame.
Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry Late 1800s Poetic Movements Aesthetic Movement is predicated upon the school of thought that art is its own justification and purpose. Edgar Allen Poe, Algernon Swinburne, Oscar Wilde were 19th century proponents. The Cameo by Algernon Swinburne 1837-1909 There was a graven image of Desire Painted with red blood on a ground of gold Passing between the young men and the old, And by him Pain, whose body shone like fire, And Pleasure with gaunt hands that grasped their hire. Of his left wrist, with fingers clenched and cold, The insatiable Satiety kept hold, Walking with feet unshod that pashed the mire. The senses and the sorrows and the sins, And the strange loves the suck the breasts of Hate Till lips and teeth bite in their sharp indenture, Followed like beasts with flap of wings and fins. Death stood aloof behind a gaping grate, The Apostles, Alfred Lord Tennyson, EM Forster, Bertram Russell, Arthur Hallam were all members of this 19th century, society of intellectuals at Cambridge University in 1820. Crossing the Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea, But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam, When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home. Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have cross'd the bar. Della Cruscans were sentimentalist English poets from the late 1800s led by Robert Merry while in Italy. It was meant to be a collaboration between English and Italian poets and took its name from the Accademia della Crusca, a movement from the 16th century to "purify" the Italian language. The term became associated with affected, pretentious, often ornate poetry. Poets such Wordworth and Lord Byron, although not associated with the movement were influenced by the romanticism of the movement. Sonnet on Seeing Miss Helen Maria Williams Weep at a Tale of Distress She wept.--Life's purple tide began to flow In languid streams through every thrilling vein; Dim were my swimming eyes--my pulse beat slow, And my full heart was swell'd to dear delicious pain. Life left my loaded heart, and closing eye; A sigh recall'd the wanderer to my breast; Dear was the pause of life, and dear the sigh That call'd the wanderer home, and home to rest. That tear proclaims--in thee each virtue dwells, And bright will shine in misery's midnight hour; As the soft star of dewy evening tells What radiant fires were drown'd by day's malignant pow'r, That only wait the darkness of the night To cheer the wand'ring wretch with hospitable light. AXIOLOGUS William Wordsworth The European Magazine 40 (March 1787) 202 Fleshy School of Poetry was a term (uncomplimentary) attributed to what was concieved as the immoral and overly sensual poetry of 19th century poets, Daniel Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris and Swinburne. The term came from Robert Buchanan (writing as Thomas Maitland) Love Lily by Dante Gabriel Rossetti Between the hands, between the brows, Between the lips of Love-lily, A spirit is born whose birth endows My blood with fire to burn through me; Who breathes upon my gazing eyes, Who laughs and murmurs in mine ear, At whose least touch my color flies, And whom my life grows faint to hear. Within the voice, within the heart, Within the mind of Love-Lily, A spirit is born who lifts apart His tremulous wings and looks at me; Who on my mouth his finger lays And shows, while whispering lutes confer, That Eden of Love's watered ways Whose winds and spirits worship her Brows, hands, and lips, heart, mind, and voice, Kisses and words of Love-Lily,-- Oh! bid me with your joy rejoice Til riotous longing rest in me! Ah! let not hope be still distraught, But find in her its gracious goal, Whose speech Truth knows not from her thought Nor Love her body from her soul. Modernism is a movement between 1890 and 1940 that challenged and often rejected traditional form in poetry. The movement was led by TS Eliot who wrote one of the most significant Modernist poem The Waste Land and my favorite The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, William Butler Yeats and Ezra Pound who was a founder of Imagism. The popularity of Free Verse came about through this movement. Portrait d'une Femme by Ezra Pound Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea, London has swept about you this score years And bright ships left you this or that in fee: Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things, Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price. Great minds have sought you�lacking someone else. You have been second always. Tragical? No. You preferred it to the usual thing: One dull man, dulling and uxorious, One average mind�with one thought less, each year. Oh, you are patient, I have seen you sit Hours, where something might have floated up. And now you pay one. Yes, you richly pay. You are a person of some interest, one comes to you And takes strange gain away: Trophies fished up; some curious suggestion: Fact that leads nowhere; and a tale or two, Pregnant with mandrakes, or with something else That might prove useful and yet never proves, That never fits a corner or shows use, Or finds its hour upon the loom of days: The tarnished, gaudy, wonderful old work; Idols and ambergris and rare inlays, These are your riches, your great store; and yet For all this sea-hoard of deciduous things, Strange woods half sodden, and new brighter stuff: In the slow float of differing light and deep, No! there is nothing! In the whole and all, Nothing that's quite your own. Yet this is you. Parnassian Poets were a group of 19th century French poets who's rebellion to the excesses of Romantisism spurred them to write with objectivity and restraint. The Parnassians took their name from the Greek mountain sacred to Apollo and the Muses, the Parnassians. They espoused "art for art's sake", perfection of form, language and pictorial imagery. Theodore Banville and Leconte de Lisle were prominent in the movement and although I could find no examples of their work in English the movement played an important role in the development of French poetry. Un Poete Mort by Charles Leconte de Lisle Toi dont les yeux erraient, altérés de lumière, De la couleur divine au contour immortel Et de la chair vivante à la splendeur du ciel, Dors en paix dans la nuit qui scelle ta paupière . Voir, entendre, sentir ? Vent, fumée et poussière Aimer ? La coupe d'or ne contient que du fiel. Comme un Dieu plein d'ennui qui déserte l'autel, Rentre et disperse-toi dans l'immense matière. Sur ton muet sépulcre et tes os consumés Qu'un autre verse ou non les pleurs accoutumés, Que ton siècle banal t'oublie ou te renomme ; Moi, je t'envie, au fond du tombeau calme et noir, D'être affranchi de vivre et de ne plus savoir La honte de penser et l'horreur d'être un homme! A Dead Poet by Charles Leconte de Lisle You whose eyes wandered, altered light The divine immortal outline color And living flesh to the splendor of heaven, Sleep in peace at night that seals your eyelid. ee, hear, smell? Wind, smoke and dust. Love? The Golden Bowl contains only gall. As a God full of boredom deserted the altar Goes up and disperses in the vast area. n your silent tomb, and your bones consumed Another verse or not crying accustomed, Thy century banal or renames you forget you; envy you at the bottom of quiet and dark tomb To be free to live and not know The shame of thinking and the horror of being a man! Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is a 19th century group of poets and artists who's work used medieval settings and subject matter and was a rebellion against the ugliness of Victorian life. They were particularly inspired by La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats. Poets such as D.G. Rossetti, Walter Pater and William Morris were among the brotherhood. A Good Knight in Prison by William Morris Wearily, drearily, Half the day long, Flap the great banners High over the stone; Strangely and eerily Sounds the wind's song, Bending the banner-poles. While, all alone, Watching the loophole's spark, Lie I, with life all dark, Feet tether'd, hands fettered Fast to the stone, The grim walls, square-lettered With prison'd men's groan. Still strain the banner-poles Through the wind's song, Westward the banner rolls Over my wrong. The Rhymers' Club was a group of poets who began meeting as a dining club upstairs at the Cheshire Cheese pub on Fleet Street, London England in the late 1800s. W. B. Yeats, Ernest Rhys, Ernest Dowson, Lionel Johnson, Richard Le Gallienne, John Davidson, Edwin Ellis, Victor Plarr, Selwyn Image, A. S. Hillier, John Todhunter, Arthur Symons, Ernest Radford and Thomas William Rolleston were part of the group which produced anthologies in 1892 and 1894. Several of the group were "fated to failure or early death" which caused Yeats to call them the "tragic generation". A Last Word by Ernest Dowson Let us go hence: the night is now at hand; The day is overworn, the birds all flown; And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown; Despair and death; deep darkness o'er the land, Broods like an owl; we cannot understand Laughter or tears, for we have only known Surpassing vanity: vain things alone Have driven our perverse and aimless band. Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold, To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust Find end of labour, where's rest for the old, Freedom to all from love and fear and lust. Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust. Spasmodic School was a group of 19th century, Victorian poets whose poetry was marked by violent and obscure imagery. Some poets associated with this group were P. J. Bailey, J.W. Marston, S.T. Dobell and Alexander Smith. Home In War Time by S T Dobell SHE turn'd the fair page with her fairer hand- More fair and frail than it was wont to be- O'er each remember'd thing he lov'd to see She linger'd, and as with a fairy's wand Enchanted it to order. Oft she fanned New motes into the sun; and as a bee Sings thro' a brake of bells, so murmur'd she, And so her patient love did understand The reliquary room. Upon the sill She fed his favorite bird. "Ah, Robin, sing! He loves thee. Then she touches a sweet string Of soft recall, and towards the Eastern hill Smiles all her soul-for him who cannot hear The raven croaking at his carrion ear. The Uranian Poets were a small group of underground pederast English poets from 1858-1930. These clandestine classicalists preferred to use conservative verse forms, idealized the history of Ancient Greece and seemed to have an infatuation for adolescent boys. William Johnson, Lord Alfred Douglas, John Gambril Nicholson, Rev. E. E. Bradford, John Addington Symonds, Edmund John, and Fabian S. Woodley were among the noted. There were also others who used pseudonyms such as "Philebus" and "A. Newman". Much of their work was privately published and limited by Victorian taboos.
Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry Italian Verse The Ottavo Rima (rhyme of eight) or Sonnetto Rispetto (little song of respect) is believed to have originated in religious verse in the 13th century. It has been called the 3rd Italian Sonnet, although it is not a sonnet at all. It is traditionally a narrative epic often written in a series of octaves not the lyrical meditation contained within the quatorzain of the sonnet. This form is best suited for "blending serious, comic and satirical attitudes and mingling narrative and discursive models.... It is the accumulation of rhyme, reaching a crescendo with the third repetition, which prepares the reader for the neat summation, the acute observation, or the epigrammatic twist which comes with the final couplet." NPOPP It was the Italian, Pulci, in his Morgante Maggiore (1487), who brought a unique twist to the form, in a kind of mock-heroic, or half-serious, half-burlesque, style with which ottava rima has been most commonly identified. It was Pulci who influenced Frere and Byron when they resurrected the form in England two centuries later, however the most prominent example of Ottava Rima in English literature is Byron's Don Juan (1819-1824). The eight, eleven syllable, rhymed lines carry the same frame as the Strambotto Tuscano but the forms differ since the Strambotto is usually limited to one octave and is lyrical in nature while the Ottava Rima is a narrative and is most often written in more than one octave. The elements of the Ottava Rima or Sonnetto Rispetto are: a fast narrative. stanzaic, written in any number of octaves. metered, most often iambic pentameter sometimes tetrameter. Its Spanish counterpart, the Ottava Real is hendecasyllabic (11 syllable lines). rhymed, Rhyme scheme is abababcc. best for blending serious and satirical attitudes. composed with the final couplet that sums up and brings a twist or enlightenment to the content of the stanza. The entire text of Don Juan' Canto I is on line and can be read at: Poem Hunter from Don Juan, by Lord Byron (1819-1824) 1st 4 stanzas Canto I I I WANT a hero: an uncommon want, When every year and month sends forth a new one, Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant, The age discovers he is not the true one; Of such as these I should not care to vaunt, 5 I 'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan- We all have seen him, in the pantomime, Sent to the devil somewhat ere his time. II. Vernon, the butcher Cumberland, Wolfe, Hawke, Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Keppel, Howe, Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk, And filled their sign-posts then, like Wellesley now; Each in their turn like Banquo's monarchs stalk, Followers of fame, "nine farrow" of that sow: France, too, had Buonaparté and Dumourier Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier. III Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau, Pétion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayette Were French, and famous people, as we know; And there were others, scarce forgotten yet, Joubert, Hoche, Marceau, Lannes, Desaix, Moreau, With many of the military set, Exceedingly remarkable at times, But not at all adapted to my rhymes. IV. Nelson was once Britannia's god of War, And still should be so, but the tide is turn'd; There's no more to be said of Trafalgar. 'Tis with our hero quietly inurn'd; Because the army's grown more popular, At which the naval people are concern'd; Besides, the Prince is all for the land-service, Forgetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe, and Jervis.