In preparation for Halloween Sonnet Sunday, I did some internet searching, only to discover that the Halloween Sonnet is not really ‘a thing’… yet! This is great news, because it gives us a chance to be innovators with the form. I did, however, wish to provide some inspiration, so I’m happy I landed upon Pop Sonnets on Tumblr. In this wonderfully unique site, the poet Erik Didriksen has rewritten famous pop songs in the form of Shakespearian Sonnets. Luckily, a couple of these songs fit our Halloween theme. I’m not sure I’ve the copyright permission to reproduce the sonnets here, so below I will include the pop video for each song, with a link to the ‘sonnetized’ version. If you’re looking for inspiration, these make for fun reading, and follow the form well.
Sonnet: ‘I once upon a midnight dreary work’d‘
I also found this well-written Sonnet for Halloween on J.C. Wolfe’s blog.
Of course, there are no horrors like the horrors of real life, such as those conjured in Claude McKay’s ‘If We Must Die.’ Written in 1919 when the poet was in prison, it was later taken up as an emblem of the civil rights struggle in the US:
If we must die — let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die — oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
I hope this post provided you with inspiration
Remember, it’s your sonnet, so take it where you will (pun intended) so long as it is thematically linked to Halloween. There are still three weeks until Halloween Sonnet Sunday, so email me your offerings at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will do my best to feature them on this blog (I have space for around five sonnets.) I look forward to receiving your poems!