EIF Poetry Challenge #1: The Sonnet

I believe that many moons ago, in my entry ‘Setting Free the Books,’ I promised you a poetry challenge. I can only apologise that so far, no such challenge has been forthcoming. Little things like moving to a different country got in the way. But now I think it’s time to have some fun!

What I propose is this: anyone who wants to take part should post a sonnet on their own blog, tag it ‘EIF Poetry Challenge,’ link back to this post, and post the link to their work in the comment section below. Alternatively, if you’re shy, you can email your sonnet to experimentsinfiction@protonmail.com. If you don’t have your own blog, you can post on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #EIFpoetrychallenge. Don’t forget to follow and tag me: Instagram @Experimentsinfiction, Twitter @Experimentsinfc. This time next week, I will feature my favourites on this blog, but I will also post a link back to every single response I receive.

Structure of the Sonnet

In case you’re not familiar with the form, a sonnet is 14 lines of blank verse (that’s iambic pentameter, or each line ‘da-dun da-dun da-dun da-dun da-dun’ if you want a more technical description!)

The rhyming scheme is as follows: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Shakespeare was of course the master of the sonnet in the English language, so you might read any one of his sonnets as a perfect example of how to do this. One of my favourites is Sonnet 24.

And now, it’s my turn…

It wouldn’t be fair of me to propose a challenge without taking part myself, so here is my effort. Please consider it in the spirit of light-hearted fun which I intended:

And shall I write a sonnet, should I try?
Is it anachronistic and futile
To rearrange my words in such a way
To fit a metre, in an antic style;

Is it an exercise in poetry
Or poesy or poetastery
To form my words in such a formal way
And shape such stanzas as you read and see

Here on this screen, this post, this pasted text
That started like a song inside my head
Flew from my mind then left me somewhat vexed
That it might sound like something dull and dead?

If this be verse, then read it over twice
And leave a comment saying something nice

The gauntlet has been laid down. I know there are many wonderful poets here on WordPress, and in the wider writing community, so I’m really hoping you’ll take part. The sonnet can be on any subject, and as serious or as frivolous as you wish to make it. You have until 0:00 CET 13/07/20 to take part in this challenge, should you choose to accept it. Now, it’s over to you!

59 thoughts on “EIF Poetry Challenge #1: The Sonnet

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  1. Oh, my goodness! A sonnet! I actually have one lying around from high school English. I never thought I would post it on my blog, but I think I will now… Great challenge, Ingrid!

      1. I know… I think I have two actually. One was written for an English class and the other… I must have had too much time on my hands or something. πŸ˜‚

  2. Congratulations! I have nominated you for the SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD, please see my latest blog post for details. I look forward to reading your response to my questions upon acceptance of the award! πŸ˜€πŸ™πŸ’›πŸ‘ŠπŸŽ‰

  3. I have struggled and struggled with sonnets before, but have never been able to get the iambic pentamer onto my paper! I love the lighthearted feel of your words, though. πŸ™‚

  4. I had something I wanted to say, I discovered, when I decided to write a new sonnet. Many thanks to you for this bit of inspiration!

    I’ll get my new sonnet up on my blog, and do the other bits and pieces for sure.

    And again, thank you!

  5. If you don’t mind I need a favour I have written a sonnet for the first time and I am not good at all at iambic pantameter. Is there a possiblity you could check it before I publish it.

      1. Ok thank you I will have a look later or maybe tomorrow morning as I’m out and about right now πŸ™

      2. Thank you Haroon. I don’t see the text of the poem – could you please copy and paste it, or add as an attachment?

  6. And Shakespeare said,” thou art more lovely and more temperate” shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Light and warm and running with wit! Great one Ingrid!

  7. Ingrid, a witty final product you shared! I love your sonnet challenge. My students always struggled with iambic pentameter, at first, but learned the structure after reading (aloud) many examples and marking up lines. Sonnet 130 always brought a few laughs. ✍ πŸ˜„

    1. I am pleased you enjoyed it! Was it ‘her breasts are dun’ that raised a smile? I never found it hard to write, but probably that’s because I’ve read a lot of Shakespeare, the metre just gets into your head I think.

      1. Gosh! you’re quick. I just posted this.
        Now have I got one from schooldays? hmm…
        Although you will be pleased – I do know my iambic pentameter…. and put to good use my learning of iambs and trochees. And I know about EAP and ‘litteration. Yes, I am making progress beyond Jack and Jill Ingrid….

      2. Hahaha I know too many techy people – I immediately thought β€˜Electronic Access Points’…but I prefer Poe πŸ˜‚

      3. Electronic Access Points
        Aka known as plugs
        Plug ya plug in whoopy do
        This rhyme is rubbish, humbug

        Try be sensible Don…

        OK… Ingrid made me do it….

        You meaning Edgar Alan Poe?
        Not ‘tronic access points?
        A lover of alliteration
        He never disappoints….

        That’s better….

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