This week's topic: Love.
It's almost Valentine's Day, so it's that time of year again when certain people try to outdo themselves to come up with nice gestures; and others lock themselves inside their rooms until three ghosts try to show them the true meaning of Valentine's. Or something like that. Anyhow, this week's topic encompasses everything to do with love. Love it, hate it, I don't mind, but write something involving some form of love or romance.
This week's optional requirement: Write a sonnet.
Speaking of writing a love poem, or a hateful note to spurn a wannabe lover, sonnets are your way to go. If you had some lessons in English, no matter in what far-flung corner of the world you live, you probably encountered some of them when discussing Shakespeare, who is most closely associated with them.
Shakespearean Sonnets are the most commonly used form of sonnets (and sort of poetry in general) in the English language. Quite similar to the blank verse of last week, Shakespearean sonnets are made up of metric lines, in the form of iambic pentameters (five pairs of unstressed-stressed, da-DUM, syllables). However, in contrast to blank verse, Shakespearean sonnets have a strict form and rhyme scheme. Almost all of Shakespeare's sonnets consist of three quatrains (three, four-line stanzas, or paragraphs), and a final couplet (a two-line stanza). These are accompanied by an abab cdcd efef gg rhyming scheme, meaning the first and third lines rhyme, as do the second and fourth, and so on. An example of a first stanza for this exercise could be:
They say that heaven is a fairy tale (a)
And fate is but a fancy of the mind (b).
If so, I guess my mind is slightly frail, (a)
For at our meeting, all the stars aligned. (b)
Generally speaking, either the third stanza, or the final couplet, involves a kind of 'twist' (called a 'volta') in the story. This could for example mean that the mood or tone of the poem suddenly shifts, or your main character gets a change of heart or a new insight. Though, while it would be a nice thing to try, for the purpose of this exercise, I won't take this into account when handing out points.
While Shakespeare is best known for his sonnets, he certainly wasn't the first one to write them, nor is his form the only one you can find. Another widely used sonnet form is the (older) Petrarchan Sonnet. This form is quite similar to its Shakespearean counterpart in that it has 14 lines, and usually consists of iambic pentameters. However, the Petrarchan sonnet consists of one octet (an eight-line stanza), followed by one sixtet (a six-line stanza). The 'twist' in these sonnets takes place at the beginning of the sixtet.
Similarly to the Shakespearean ones, Petrarchan sonnets have a rhyming scheme, though the Petrarchan one begins with an abba abba scheme for the octet, and continues with something like cdc cdc or cde cde for the sixtet, though that last part tends to vary from poet to poet.
I won't be giving an example of a Petrarchan Sonnet, as this post is already getting quite long, but there are tons of them on the internet. And besides the two I've given here, there's also a great variety of sonnet forms to be found, which I would encourage you to take a look at if you have the time. Anyhow, all you need to remember for this week's exercise is:
Shakespearean Sonnet: Three quartets-one couplet, abab rhyme scheme, iambic pentameter
Petrarchan Sonnet: One octet-one sixtet, abba rhyme scheme, iambic pentameter
Have fun writing!
@Bannerlord @Crescentstar @Orange @Mizal @Lancelot @Mayana @Betaband @Kwism1127 @Leoscales7 @bbshark @Drew8521 @BerkaZerka
Here's the updated point list, please correct me if anything's wrong. I'm sorry for posting this quite late, but I was away for the weekend, and I usually don't write these things in advance (I'm terrible at planning things). If you want feedback for last week's (weeks') exercises, please let me know and I'll try to come back to you.
As always, giving feedback is encouraged, but please don't reply to the entries directly if they're not edit-locked, so people can still change them if they want to.
Why do I spend so much time writing love poems? xD
I tried with the Shakespearean sonnet:
The stars can twinkle when the sun goes down.
The darkness can engulf the moon's weak light.
I set my eyes upon your face, the crown,
For you are queen to me, a stunning sight.
Whether you loved me at the time or not,
I fell instantly. Even after time,
And even after age, me you still caught.
I will not care as long as you are mine.
Together we may grow in ageless rhyme.
Together, love is strongest; hate is weak.
May we peacefully fall to fate entwined.
The larks can, joyous, sing us harmonies.
I will relish your moves of stunning grace.
I lay now, tightly wrapped in your embrace.
This poem may go off meter a bit and not qualify as a Shakespearean sonnet, but it is still in the Sonnet rhyme scheme.
Life is our teacher and life is our test
Each person, each place, each thought, each action
All souls endeavoring for perfection before the rest
But brought away from the eternal by worldly distraction
Life is our struggle between mind, body, and soul
Strife between want for things and want for more
We often use one to try to understand the whole
But only through all three can we really explore
Life is going out into the broad world of things
To experience it all, and feel the sensation
And finally in the death bed we realize what it really brings
Is that we can live every moment with unspeakable elation
Life is our tool, and we should not waste it
For through life, we find ourselves bit by bit
Edit lock. (Also I realize it's not a love poem or a hate poem).
Do you have any memories of me
Do the curves of my face ring any bells
Do you remember our trips to the sea
Where we found a million oyster shells
Can you think back to our very first date
When I couldn't afford to buy your meal
I knew right then you were my only fate
When you laughed at me with such intense zeal
Would you recognize your own wedding vows
The ones recited fifty years ago
I truly love you then and even now
When your memory is an all time low
Alzheimers made you forget even me
But for now, let me be your memory
@Orange Holy fuzzles that is an amazing poem! So touching. :)
Certainly not my best work, but as I sort of feel obliged to participate in these threads:
I dreamt about a dark and starless night,
Of howling wind and freezing, driving rain.
But you, without dismay, were by my side
And I had no more reasons to complain.
I dreamt about the early morning light,
Of hurried passings, silent, lone commutes -
But never lonely - knowing that the night
And sultry evening held our own pursuits.
I dreamt about the days we never had
Of babbling kids and dignified old age.
But Fate brought nought but misery, those sad
And final moments, filled with futile rage.
I dream of you with every breath I take
But your reflection keeps me wide awake.
I'm doing a Shakespearean sonnet for school. (T_T) These are still very educational. xD Ahghgh I still need to get better with the iambic part. :/