Monday, March 31, 2014

HWK: Read Poems by YOUR Poet

Once you have selected your poet and poem, 
READ OTHER POEMS by your poet.

Then begin researching the following...

  • Where did your poet grow up?
  • Where did your poet go to school?
  • What inspired your poet to write poetry? 
  • How does your poet define poetry? What is his or her ars peotica?
  • What other poets influenced your poet to write poetry?
  • Who has your poet influenced? 
  • Was your poet a part of a school or movement? See this Poetry Timeline.
Post links to the biography of your poet - curate a few interesting points with hyperlinks.

Begin thinking about presenting your poem in a dynamic digital medium
that you can post to your blog (perhaps via iMovie or Prezi). 

  • Note the imagery and symbolism: select images 
  • Note the theme and motifs
  • Note the figurative language:
  • Note the alliteration, assonance, consonance, meter 
  • Note the allusions or references
  • Note the rhyme scheme, form, enjambment etc.
  • Note the tone - and shifts in tone


Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat." - Robert Frost

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

So. I have doubled the list of poets and poems - just in case you wish to change your mind over break..

3. Roethke, "My Papa's Waltz"  - Jason

4. Sexton, "Her Kind

5. Olds, "Rite of Passage"(with Audio) - Tristan

6. Williams"This Is Just to Say" - Denny, Ashley

7. Eliot, "The Winter Evening Settles Down"  - Ed 

8. Tennyson, "The Eagle" - Colin, Connor 

9. Rich, "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" - Emma H
(Text from Prof. Al Filreis English 88 Modern & Contemporary American Poetry)

10. Browning, "My Last Duchess" (with Audio) - Heidi - Felicia

11. Plath, “Metaphors” (with a paragraph of analysis) - Ben 

12. Lawrence, “Piano” - Shannon, Nico

13. Bottoms, "Sign for My Father, Who Stressed the Bunt" (Handout—this is not in the book) - Philip P

14. Cummings, "in Just" - Kelly

15. Stallings, "First Love: A Quiz" - Emma S, Kayla

16. Herbert, "Easter Wings" - Abhay

17. Hollander, "Swan and Shadow" - Mimi, Gossen

18. Stevens, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" - Nina, Dan

19. Merwin, "For the Anniversary of My Death" - Philip T

20. Oliver, "Wild Geese" - Lee Lee

21. Millay, "Recuerdo"

22. Ginsberg, "A Supermarket in California"

23. Hoagland, "Beauty" - Corinne

24. Kooser, "Abandoned Farmhouse" - Cam, Sarah W.

25. Dove, "Daystar" - Sydney 

26. Moore, "Poetry"

27. Song, "Stamp Collecting"

28. Alexie, "The Powwow at the End of the World"

29. Yeats, "The Second Coming" - Jake J

30. Hughes, "Theme for English B"  

31.Espaillat, "Bilingual/Bilingue"

32. Hardy, "Neutral Tones" - Dylan

33. Kenyon, "The Suitor" - Will P.

34. Dickinson, "My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun"

35. Rilke, "The Panther" - Lily G

36. Simic, "Fork" Ryan

37. Brooks, "Southeast Corner"

38. Ryan, "Turtle" - Sarah K

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fire Alarm: Homework for Thursday - Pick a poet!

Z Block: 

The fire alarm blew up today's lesson in the computer lab.

Here's what you need to do between now and tomorrow.

1. Create your set - a list of 50 words that stretch your knowledge. Delete the slam-dunks (words you know - unless you find an interesting definition/synonym

2. "Auto-define" - I suggest you select synonyms that expand your vocabulary.

3. Save your set of 50. Share it with the class.

4. Then select "More Tools" and click "Embed"; then, click your "Flashcards"

5. Copy and paste the HTML for "Flashcards" to the your last post - be sure you're in HTML - and NOT "Compose" mode. See below:

HOMEWORK - For everyone!

1. Do the above.

2. Follow your classmates. See the class blog. 

3. Review your vocabulary lists - and the 30 poetry terms.

4. Check out these poets below. 

TOMORROW - you will select the poem and poet from this list of 17 remaining below:

All of these are in your book:

Introduction to Poetry edited by X. J. Kennedy & Dana Goia:

1. Shakespeare, "Shall I Compare Thee..."
                                           Other sonnets: Collins, "SonnetArnold, "Shakespeare"
I will cover Frost...
2.  Frost, "Out, Out-"

3. Roethke, "My Papa's Waltz"

4. Sexton, "Her Kind"

5. Olds, "Rite of Passage"(with Audio)

6. Williams"This Is Just to Say"

7. Eliot, "The Winter Evening Settles Down"

8. Tennyson, "The Eagle"

9. Rich, "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers"
(Text from Prof. Al Filreis English 88 Modern & Contemporary American Poetry)

10. Browning, "My Last Duchess" (with Audio)

11. Plath, “Metaphors” (with a paragraph of analysis)

12. Lawrence, “Piano

 Feel free to email me and claim your poet ASAP - and call dibs!

Sarah's Poetry Blog: Villanelle~ One Art- By: Elizabeth Bishop

Sarah's Poetry Blog: Villanelle~ One Art- By: Elizabeth Bishop: Villanelle A Villanelle is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme: aba aba aba aba aba abaa. The first and th...

What's the tone of the Poem? Adjectives A-Z


Admiring Afraid Aggravated Aggressive Agitated Allusive Angry
Apathetic Apologetic Appreciative Argumentative Arrogant
Assertive Assured Audacious Authoritative Awestruck

Bilious Bitter Bland Blithe Bombastic Boring Brash Breezy

Calm Cantankerous Casual Caustic Cheerful Childish Coarse 
Cold Colloquial Complacent Complimentary Condescending
Confessional Confiding Confused Consoling Contemptuous
Contentious Contented Contradictory Critical Cross Cynical 

Dejected Deliberate Depressed Desperate Detached Disagreeable
Disappointed Disgusted Disinterested Dismissive Doleful Dour
Dramatic Dreamy Dutiful 

Ecstatic Elegiac Encouraging Enthusiastic Euphoric Excited 

Facetious Fanciful Fearful Fervent Frenetic Friendly Flippant Frivolous 

Galvanizing Giddy Grateful Gracious Gregarious 

Happy Harsh Hating Haughty Hesitant Humble Hollow Horrific Humorous Hurt 

Illusory Impassive Impish Indignant Innocent Inquisitive Instructive Ironic

Joking Joyful 

Laconic Lighthearted Loud Loving 

Macabre Manipulative Melancholy Miserable Mocking Modest Morbid 

Naïve Negative Nervous Nihilistic Nostalgic 

Objective Obsequious Opprobrious 

Panegyric Paranoid Passive Patronizing Peaceful Pedantic
Penitent Persuasive Phlegmatic Pleading Pleasant Poignant
Politic Pretentious Prosaic Proud Provocative Punctilious 

Quaint Querulous Questioning Quiet Quotidian 

Restrained Ribald Romantic Rancorous Raucous 

Saccharine Sad Salacious Sarcastic Satiric Scornful
Seductive Sentimental Serious Sharp Shocking Silly
Sly Smug Somber Soothing Sour Superficial Superior
Supportive Surprised Sweet Sympathetic

Tautological Tempestuous Terse Tired Tortuous Truculent 

Uneasy Uninterested Upset Urgent 

Vehement Vexed Vibrant Vitriolic 

Wanton Whimsical WistfulWry

Zany Zealous 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why Poetry Matters: John Updike's Birthday: 3.18.1932

Why Poetry Matters: John Updike's Birthday: 3.18.1932: Most mornings I like to listen to Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac website.  I added a link to this blog (see to the right). ...

Heidi's Poetry Workshop: Blank Verse

Heidi's Poetry Workshop: Blank Verse: Blank Verse a poem that does not rhyme and is written in iambic pentameter Excerpt from Macbeth by William Shakespeare Tomorrow, and t...

Excerpt from Macbeth
William Shakespeare

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Nina's Poetry: Terza Rima

Nina's Poetry: Terza Rima: Terza Rima From  Second Satire Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) My mother’s maids, when they did sew and spin, They sang sometimes a song of...

HWK for WED: Return to Your Posts

Thank you for your time and effort on your posts.

I will post a comprehensive list soon with links for everyone's pages.

For Wednesday's HOMEWORK: 30 minutes max. 

I would now like you to return to any 3 of your 8 posts - and post the following:

1. A reading: Embed a Youtube Video of a reading of one of your selected poems.

                You may not find a youtube video for your 8 posts - but try your best...and then...
                Consider a 9th post (and/or form) where you post a poem that has youtube reading.

2. Biography: Research the biography of one of the poets. Optional: include a picture.
In your own words, tell an interesting story about that poet. Consider these questions:
Why does your poet write poetry?
What is the back story to the poem that poet wrote in your example?

3. Vocabulary: Find three words from any of your poems and create hyperlinks to images or definitions (click examples for Dryad in "Ode to a Nightingale" - Wikipedia is fine for this),
so that the reader of the poem can better understand it.

PLEASE be mindful of your time: do NOT take more than 30 minutes with this - I understand you have other work to do. Be focused do your best.


A few thoughts behind this assignment...

Frustrations with poetry may stem from simple ignorance.

We may not hear the musicality - the rhythm, the meter, the tone - in a poem.
That is why it's helpful to hear a poet read his or her poem.

We may not understand where the poet comes from - beyond born, raised, died.
How does a poet's life experience shape her or his poetry?
What's their story?
Learn a person's story and you'll understand more than just a poem.

We may not understand a word or a reference or catch a subtle allusion.
We may not see the imagery if we don't know what to picture in our mind's eye.

So in short: Google it.

Be curious.

Hear a poem.
Understand someone's story.
See a poem through vocabulary.

Realize a poem may represent a person's deepest thoughts like a Shakespearean soliloquy.

And remember you may someday forget you learned Lethe - is one of the five rivers in Hades.
But poetry might remind you - and even remind you of what is important.

If you know that if you drink from the water from the River Lethe, you will experience complete forgetfulness like in Men in Black or Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.

And you will get the joke in Billy Collin's poem below:

Poems on Poems: An Ode To Poetry...

Poems on Poems: An Ode To Poetry...: The Ode: "Ode" comes from the Greek aeidein, meaning to sing or chant, and belongs to the long and varied tradition of lyric poe...

"Ode to a Nightingale"by John Keats

A movie about John Keats:

Corinne Z Poetry Blog: Poetry Scavenger Hunt: Villanelle

Corinne Z Poetry Blog: Poetry Scavenger Hunt: Villanelle: Definition =  A French verse form consisting of five three-line stanzas and a final quatrain, with the first and third lines of the first st...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Felicia's Poetry Place: 2 Sonnets I Wrote on the Freezing Weather

Two original sonnets for a long winter that might warm your soul. Thank you, Felicia for sharing these.

Btw - Please do your homework - we will have school tomorrow.

Felicia's Poetry Place: 2 Sonnets I Wrote on the Freezing Weather: An Overlong Winter The sun can't pierce the layers of thick snow, But only sparkles lightly in the air. When will the warm and gentl...

Gossen's Tumblr: A Really Bad Sonnet (that kinda resembles that one...

Thank you, Gossen. This made me smile...

Gossen's Tumblr: A Really Bad Sonnet (that kinda resembles that one...: Fourteen lines worth of text, is all I have To pose a question and answer it. Twelve remaining, and I have yet To make an inquiry. What s...

Why Poetry Matters: Scavenger Hunt

See previous post for Monday's homework.

In class Monday, you will meet in the room 203 computer lab.
      Feel free to bring headphones and your laptop if you like.

Wordle: Poetry Forms
Poetry Form Wordle
Poetry Scavenger Hunt;
Inquiry Leads to Discovery and Learning

We are going to crowdsource your learning about poetry via publishing to your blogs.

We've explored the poetry form of the sonnet (from Italian sonetto for "a little sound or song").
You've learned about rhyme scheme and the differences between the Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnets.

Last Friday, you learned to blog - not just copying and pasting - but creating LINKS to the poets and poems while also embedding videos with HTML into your blog. Continue to tinker with layout and aesthetics of your posts.

Today, you will embark on a poetry scavenger hunt to see what you can learn and share with your classmates. On your blog, you must define and find examples of 8 of the following forms. 
Create 8 posts: i.e. one post per FORM with EXAMPLE & BIO:

I. Define the FORM "Copy and Paste" the definition  - LINK to the source.
II. Find EXAMPLES "Copy and Paste" .
               (Don't go in order - the idea is that collectively we will have all 18 covered.)
III. POET: Link to the poet's BIO

Again, Embed a link to your internet sources:
                      a. the definition
                      b. the poem via a hyperlink of the title
                      c. the poet's biography
I prefer that you NOT use basic dictionaries or wikipedia for definitions, examples, & biographies.
Explore poetry websites.

Select any 8 of these 18 poetry forms below:

1. Acrostic

2. Ballad

3. Blank Verse

4. Cento

5. Concrete Poetry

6. Elegy 

7. Epigram

8. Epitaph

9. Formal Verse

10. Free Verse

11. Ghazal

12. Haiku

13. Limerick

14. Ode

15. Pantoum

16. Sestina

17. Terza Rima

18. Villanelle

For example - definition and example with hyperlinks to sources and poet's biography:

Sonnet - "A 14-line poem with a variable rhyme scheme originating in Italy and brought to England by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, earl of Surrey in the 16th century. Literally a “little song,” the sonnet traditionally reflects upon a single sentiment, with a clarification or “turn” of thought in its concluding lines."

Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakespeare unlocked his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
With it Camöens soothed an exile's grief;
The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
Soul-animating strains—alas, too few!


As I mentioned on Friday, I was incredibly impressed by how quickly you completed the assignment in class. I am curious to see how many definitions and examples you can find in class Monday. My advice is simply to do your best - I am not expecting you to find all of these in one period (or even one night). Your homework is to continue with the assignment. 

Again, the objective in the short term is to define and find examples of at least of the 18. 

Again, be sure to include embed LINKS to the definitions and poet's bio - and hyperlinks to the URL sources of the poems. 

The goal: understand the vast variety of forms and begin to appreciate these poetic forms.
On Tuesday, we will discuss your examples in class. 

I thank you in advance for your effort on this assignment.
I know this will be a stretch exercise - please help one another out.

I am excited to see what you learn and post.

Follow Kevin O'Brien's board The Poet's Life: Why Poetry Matters on Pinterest.

Friday, March 14, 2014

HWK for MONDAY: Play with your new Poetry Blog

Today, we are setting up your Poetry Blog

(and your EA Google Gmail accounts - if you haven't already),

so that you can do the following:

1. Curate your own blog where you will...

2. Create a poetry portfolio: then, your best work you will...

3. Share to a Showcase blog, and...

4. Comment on one another's work.

Here are the steps for class:  

I. Create your Blogger Profile

         A. Select your TITLE  - Janie's Poetry Page  (you can change this later)

         B. Select your DOMAIN name - you cannot change this - 

                    Ex. or 

        C. Select "Simple" Design (you can change this later, too)
        D. Click "New Post"

II. Post your TWO sonnets to the blog.

        A. Include the hyperlinks to the sources. 

                   1. Highlight the title
                   2. Clink "Link" - Copy and Paste the poems URL - link.

                    3. Be sure you check the box "Open this link to a new window"
                    4. Repeat steps 1-3 above for the respective Poets of your sonnets

           B. Embed an interesting YouTube Video of one of the sonnets. 
Option 1 - you can copy and paste the HTML from YouTube (this is what I prefer)


Option 2 - you can search via blogger by clicking the icon to "Insert a video";
then, preview and "Select".

III. Email me your blog's domain name. 
Or BETTER yet follow me - see "FOLLOWERS" below: 

Or "Add" to your "Reading list"to follow

IV. Feel free to play with your "Design" colors and "Layout" to personalize your blog.

The Lanyard - Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Just for fun...

A reminder: Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

From my favorite website, The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor:
Today is Albert Einstein's birthday (books by this author). He was born in Ulm, Germany (1879), and his pre-kindergarten fascination with a compass needle left an impression on him that lasted a lifetime. He liked math but hated school, dropped out, and taught himself calculus in the meantime. Einstein worked for the Swiss Patent Office in Bern, where his job was to evaluate patent applications for electromagnetic devices and determine whether the inventions described would actually work. The job wasn't particularly demanding, and at night he would come home and pursue scientific investigations and theories.
In 1905, he wrote a paper on the Special Theory of Relativity, which is that if the speed of light is constant and if all natural laws are the same in every frame of reference, then both time and motion are relative to the observer. That same year, he published three more papers, each of which was just as revolutionary as the first, among them the paper that included his most famous equation: E = mc². E is energy, m is mass, and c stands for the velocity of light.
Einstein received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921. He said, "The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives."

When ever you copy a poem, or copy content from the internet, you must:

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due. 

Otherwise, it's plagiarism, 

and you may be liable in terms of copyright infringement

Thus, always cite the author and/or the link:

Think of your blog as a public notebook, but you must respect your sources.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sonnets: Petrarchan, Elizabethan..


1. Find a Shakespeare sonnet that "speaks" to you.

2. Transcribe it to notebook paper (copy it by hand) - 
Yes, PUNCTUATION, stanzas, and line breaks do, indeed, matter!

3. Annotate the rhyme scheme

4. Comment on the tone:

        What specific adjective would you use to describe the tone? 
        Is there any shift in tone? Where? 

5. Repeat the above directions (1-4) but find a second sonnet - NOT by Shakespeare. 

Examples from class today:

Timothy Steele (b. 1948)

Voluptuous in plenty, summer is  - a
Neglectful of the earnest ones who’ve sought her. - b
She best resides with what she images: - a
Lakes windless with profound sun-shafted water; - b
5          Dense orchards in which high-grassed heat grows thick;
The one-lane country road where, on his knees,
A boy initials soft tar with a stick;
Slow creeks which bear flecked light through depths of trees.

And he alone is summer’s who relents
10        In his poor enterprising; who can sense,
In alleys petal-blown, the wealth of chance;
Or can, supine in a deep meadow, pass
Warm hours beneath a moving sky’s expanse,
Chewing the sweetness from long stalks of grass.


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.' 
Sonnets from

From the Italian sonetto, which means "a little sound or song," the sonnet is a popular classical form that has compelled poets for centuries. Traditionally, the sonnet is a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, which employ one of several rhyme schemes and adhere to a tightly structured thematic organization. Two sonnet forms provide the models from which all other sonnets are formed: the Petrachan and the Shakespearean.

Petrarchan Sonnet

The first and most common sonnet is the Petrarchan, or Italian. Named after one of its greatest practitioners, the Italian poet Petrarch, the Petrarchan sonnet is divided into 

two stanzas, the octave (the first eight lines)

followed by the answering sestet (the final six lines)

The tightly woven rhyme scheme:
c     or    c
d            d
e            c
c            d
d            c
e            d

is suited for the rhyme-rich Italian language, though there are many fine examples in English. Since the Petrarchan presents an argument, observation, question, or some other answerable charge in the octave, 
a turn, or volta, occurs between the eighth and ninth lines. 
This turn marks a shift in the direction of the foregoing argument or narrative, turning the sestet into the vehicle for the counterargument, clarification, or whatever answer the octave demands.

Sir Thomas Wyatt introduced the Petrarchan sonnet to England in the early sixteenth century. His famed translations of Petrarch’s sonnets, as well as his own sonnets, drew fast attention to the form. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, a contemporary of Wyatt’s, whose own translations of Petrarch are considered more faithful to the original though less fine to the ear, modified the Petrarchan, thus establishing the structure that became known as the Shakespearean sonnet. This structure has been noted to lend itself much better to the comparatively rhyme-poor English language.

Shakespearean Sonnet

The second major type of sonnet, the Shakespearean, or English sonnet, follows a different set of rules. 
Here, three quatrains and a couplet 
follow this rhyme scheme: 





The couplet plays a pivotal role, usually arriving in the form of a conclusion, amplification, or even refutation of the previous three stanzas, often creating an epiphanic quality to the end. 

In Sonnet 130 of William Shakespeare’s epic sonnet cycle, the first twelve lines compare the speaker’s mistress unfavorably with nature’s beauties. But the concluding couplet swerves in a surprising direction:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;            a
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;                b
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;      a
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.      b
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,           c
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;                  d
And in some perfumes is there more delight           c
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.     d
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know               e
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;           f
I grant I never saw a goddess go;                        e
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.   f
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare            g
As any she belied with false compare.                    g

Sonnet Variations
Though Shakespeare’s sonnets were perhaps the finest examples of the English sonnet, John Milton’s Italian-patterned sonnets (later known as "Miltonic" sonnets) added several important refinements to the form. Milton freed the sonnet from its typical incarnation in a sequence of sonnets, writing the occasional sonnet that often expressed interior, self-directed concerns. He also took liberties with the turn, allowing the octave to run into the sestet as needed. Both of these qualities can be seen in "When I Consider How my Light is Spent."
The Spenserian sonnet, invented by sixteenth century English poet Edmund Spenser, cribs its structure from the Shakespearean--three quatrains and a couplet--but employs a series of "couplet links" between quatrains, as revealed in the rhyme scheme: abab, bcbc, cdcd, ee. The Spenserian sonnet, through the interweaving of the quatrains, implicitly reorganized the Shakespearean sonnet into couplets, reminiscent of the Petrarchan. One reason was to reduce the often excessive final couplet of the Shakespearean sonnet, putting less pressure on it to resolve the foregoing argument, observation, or question.


Modern Sonnets
The sonnet has continued to engage the modern poet, many of whom also took up the sonnet sequence, notably Rainer Maria Rilke, Robert Lowell, and John Berryman. Stretched and teased formally and thematically, today’s sonnet can often only be identified by the ghost imprint that haunts it, recognizable by the presence of 14 lines or even by name only. Recent practitioners of this so-called “American” sonnet include Gerald SternWanda ColemanTed Berrigan, and Karen Volkman. Hundreds of modern sonnets, as well as those representing the long history of the form, are collected in the recent anthology The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English, edited by Philis Levin.
- See more at: