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

The Unrhymed Sonnet appears as far back as 1664 when John Milton included 3 consecutive sonnets without rhyme in Book III of Paradise Lost, although W H Auden is often cited with having created the verse form in 1928 a few centuries later. The Unrhymed Sonnet is not to be confused with the Blank Verse Sonnet which is also unrhymed but written in iambic pentameter where the "Unrhymed Sonnet" is not written in an iambic pattern.

The elements of the Unrhymed Sonnet are:

  1. a quatorzain, broken or unbroken into stanzas at the poet's discretion.
  2. metered, although it does not carry an iambic pattern it is written in accentual verse with 5 stresses per line.
  3. unrhymed.
  4. composed with a pivot where it would appear most naturally.
    The Secret Agent by Wystan Hugh Auden 1928                               

    Control of the passes was, he saw, the key
    To this new district, but who would get it?
    He, the trained spy, had walked into the trap
    For a bogus guide, seduced by the old tricks.

    At Greenhearth was a fine site for a dam
    And easy power, had they pushed the rail
    Some stations nearer. They ignored his wires:
    The bridges were unbuilt and trouble coming.

    The street music seemed gracious now to one
    For weeks up in the desert. Woken by water
    Running away in the dark, he often had
    Reproached the night for a companion
    Dreamed of already. They would shoot, of course,
    Parting easily two that were never joined.

    In My Dotage by Judi Van Gorder

    I often wondered if life held big things for me,
    by some standards it has. By mine it was just my life,
    events and surroundings met with choices.
    Choices, ah there is the key, the only thing
    I could control. But even then some were good
    some not so good and in the end they were all
    part of the journey. You've heard all of this before.

    Nothing so profound, just common sense,
    these ramblings of mine are no new revelation.
    Would I make changes if I could go back?
    My first thought is, of course… then I remember
    it would have changed my passage and I would miss
    what came after. Oh no, I wouldn't want to miss
    what came after. No, not a moment of it.


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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