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Uncategorized Discussion[edit]

In addition to the Shakespeare (or Elizabethan) sonnet,example in the article, there are also the other two traditionally acclaimed versions. These are often referred to as 'Petrach' sonnets. This, however, cannot be strictly accurate, for although Petrach was reported to have produced examples of these, there is little doubt that their styles were in vogue before his time. Both these two types of sonnet have the same stem. Its rhyme pattern being: A B B A A B B A One version then continues: C D E C D E

                           The other:     C  D  C  D  C  D

An example of the first version (i.e. ending in CDECDE), is as follows: "A Year From Now " A year from now, who knows what then could be? Amazing transformation in career. Successful fulfilment might then be here, Fulfilment that does propitiously Result in success vocationally, If in that direction our course we steer, This result, for all we know, may appear, Rend'ring existence steadfast and sturdy. Depending, of course, on efforts and work, For no fool's paradise should we enter, But be cautious in what we engage in. Although bold and determined, not berserk, And level-headedness always prefer. If this course rightly we hope to begin.

de:Sonettnl:Sonnet fr:sonnet ja:ソネット

The sonnet is a traditional poem of 14 lines following a strict rhyme scheme, that has changed during its history.

In its original 13th-century Italian variant the sonnet was divided into a octave of eight lines and a sestet of six lines. The octave rhymed abbaabba. For the sestet there were different possibilities like cdecde, cdccdc, or cdedce. The most famous writer of Italian sonnets is Petrarch.

In the sixteenth century the sonnet became popular in England. The form changed to three quatrains of four lines and a couplet of two lines. Usual rhyme schemes were abab cdcd efef gg and abab bcbc cdcd ee. One of the first poets to write sonnets in English was Sir Thomas Wyatt. (See Shakespearean sonnet. It is also known as Elizabethan sonnet.)

A classic rule of thumb for the writing or reading of a Shakespearean sonnet is to have the final couplet make a sharp thematic or imagistic "turn."

Along with his wonderful plays, Shakespeare is well known for his many sonnets, such as Sonnet 116:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring barque,
Whose worth's unknown although his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

See Shakespeare's Sonnets for details.

See also

The current article is very good! Well written and informative -- nice one!--Sam 23:43, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I thought sonnets were supposed to be in iambic pentameter, but the article makes no mention of this. Am I mistaken? Tualha 19:25, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I was also taught that sonnets were 'supposed' to be in iambic pentameter- but remember: this is poetry, so not everybody follows the 'rules.' I'd also like to take this opportunity to mention that the poem provided as an example for Italian sonnets "On his Being Arrived to the Age of 23" does not follow the same rhyme scheme as stated in the description. I know a lot of poets mess around with the last sestet, but I think that the example should reflect what the article says. In addition, I think the article should mention that it is common for poets to play around with the rhyme scheme of the last sestet. -Frazzydee 18:16, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The article is also incorrect in saying that hendecasyllables are the usual line for sonnets in the Romance languages. I have read sonnets only in Italian, French and English, but based on the two Romance languages of these, I can say that the Italians use the hendecasyllable line, and call it endecasyllabo, but the French, for example Baudelaire, use their usual so-called Alexandrine (Alexandrine is the formal name) for most sonnets. The Alexandrine alternates between a twelve-syllable line with a masculine ending, like "Je te donne ces vers afin que si mon nom" (first line of a Baudelaire sonnet) and thirteen-syllable lines with a feminine ending, like "Abord heureusement aux Epoques lointaines" (second line of the same Baudelaire sonnet). It's because of the difference between masculine endings (a masculine rhyme in English would be MART/TART) and feminine endings (MARTYR/TARTAR) that the feminine lines have that extra thirteenth syllable at the end. The French do have sonnets in ten-syllable lines, alternating with eleven syllable lines, but they also have sonnets in eight-syllable lines alternating with nine-syllable lines: the "hendecasyllable" is strictly Italian, where almost almost all the rhymes are feminine -- unless there's something about Spanish sonnets I don't know.

Sorry, I didn't sign my posting about Baudelaire, French Alexandrines, and so on just above. I'm chessw. Chessw 23:35, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)chessw

Much Spanish poetry uses hendecasyllable (endecasílabo in Spanish), though Alexandrines (Alejandrinos) are also used, and of course there are also sonnets that aren't in meter (though that's much mroe modern).

The "Bob" and "Wheel" of Spencer's sonnets should be explained in this article!


"The form consists of three quatrains of four lines and a couplet of two lines."

A quatrain is a four-line stanza; similarly, a couplet is two lines. I've changed this line. 04:10, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Who invented the sonnet?[edit]

Since Giacomo da Lentini from the Sicilian School is widely credited for inventing the sonnet [Segre: 1999; Migliorini: 1984; Bruni: 1983 etc], I added that to the article. His octave rhymes abab, abab (cf. Petrarch's: abba,abba). It seems certain, however, that Giacomo preceded Guittone d'Arezzo, who was inspired by the Sicilians. --Wikipedius 23:21, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a web directory[edit]

So I deleted a bunch of links and they were put back. I certainly didn't mean to offend or start an edit war, but it seems to me like the links section has been growing out of control. Here is the current list with my commentary and suggested cut/no-cut status. Perhaps others could comment and then we can cut as appropriate.

A rather amateurish looking site, but it appears to be quite thorough.
Seems okay, but not great. Keeper, I guess
Seems awfully specific -- if we link to every web archive of sonnets by a famous poet, this list will rapidly grow far larger than the article. Definitely cut.
More justifiable than the Pound poets, since Petrarch is so critical to the history of the sonnet. However, this page is a subpage of, which is already linked. Definitely cut.
Belongs on the page for Thomas Wyatt, not here. Cut.
Seems awfully specific. Probably cut.
A page of Shakespare sonnets makes some sense given the fame of the sonnets, though I say this reservedly. Nonetheless, the elook page looks easier to navigate -- in any case, we certainly don't need to link to two different Shakespeare sonnet pages. Definitely cut.
An individual Shakespeare sonnet certainly shouldn't be linked (or else we'll have 144 links here eventually). Definitely cut.
An individual Shakespeare sonnet certainly shouldn't be linked (or else we'll have 144 links here eventually). Definitely cut.
See above (if we keep Shakespare's general sonnets link, I could see keeping this) Probably cut
Belongs on Edna St. Vincent Millay page, not here. Definitely cut.
Far too specific and involves non-English works Definitely cut
Specific and appears to be utter quackers Definitely cut
Seems easier to navigate than the other Shakespeare site Keeper, I guess
Seems a bit like an ad for a particular magazine, I'd say we should cut this and remove mentions from article Probably cut.
Again, vallance review seems to be getting a lot of attention here. Cut
Far too specific -- if we include not only links to individual Shakespeare sonnets but individual bits of criticism by no-one-in-particular, this will definitely grow to absurd lengths. Definitely cut.
Possible self promotion. Michael J. Farrand certainly isn't important enough to the history of the sonnet to warrant a special link here. Definitely cut.

Note that many of these pages might be better served with a list of notable sonnetteers with wikipedia pages. Such a list might include poets particularly known for their sonnets -- Wyatt, Shakespeare, Keats, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Pablo Neruda, etc. Of course, given the difficulty of establishing criteria for importance, I'm hesitant to start such a list as I fear it would grow out of control and take over the article.

I'm going to go ahead and delete those that I marked Definitely cut, preserving them here for further discussion. I'll hold off the others until this has been on the talk page for a bit.


I very much appreciate the format and tone of this structured, civil commentary on links. - (talk) 17:57, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Justin Clemens ... an advertisement?[edit]

The following text was added, the reverted (by me), then added again: "In Melbourne, Australia Justin Clemens has published a book of sonnets (including some double sonnets) titled Ten Thousand Fcuking Monkeys." ... this seems like an advertisement. I don't believe that notability is justified, after all we don't even mention people like Denby or Berrigan or Berryman in the article. Wyatt, Frost, Auden, Heaney, and ... Clemens??? gives '"Justin Clemens" poetry' only 4 hits, and none of these are connected with his activity as a poet: one is as co-author of an essay with David McCooey, one is a 'thank you' in the acknowledgement's section of a book by McCooey, one are reference in a footnote citing something called Reading Seminar XVII of which he was a co-editor, and one as co-author of a paper on the internet and terrorism. Any objections to reverting the Clemens sentence again? — Stumps 09:45, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Ceratainly, Stumps is biased as has known John Forbes but not Justin Clemens. WP:BIO seems to favour British and American Biographies over Australin one. I wish I had brought (more)Australian wikipedians (especially users who know about his work, let alone (have) know(n) him). Justin does already have some notablility, he cites his influences being Wordsworth, Dawson, Blake, Forbes and Gautier. He has released a book of his poetry, and even a melodrama album (on Compact disc only) with many of his poems on musical

One other thing, Not just internet. Wikipedia is still "internet centric" and I wonder how many articles have been deleted as a result of interent centric adimistrators, it should be explicit policy that wikipedia is not "internet centric". Thus my advise to editors and administrators doing research to make decisions about either deleting article, listing articles for deletion, or even voting for their deletion, is not just internet. For example, if they do not get sufficant hits on any search engine thay use, they should try offline sources, books, etc.

OK, can you provide one reference in a book to Clemens' sonnets and their significance? I still don't understand why his work is worth noting in the article on the sonnet. — Stumps 11:02, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the following books at Amazon

Sorry, but no. These are books BY Clemens. No one doubts that he is an academic and a poet, the issue here is how notable are his sonnets? The article does not mention many poets; the following rate a mention: Milton, Gray, Wordsworth and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In an article that doesn't mention Denby or Berryman or Berrigan, we are going to have to work harder to justify the significance of Clemens' contribution. Is there a reference to ANY of Clemens' poetry in ANY book about poetry? — Stumps 14:24, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
PS ... I see an anon user (with an IP in Virginia USA) removed the Justin Clemens sentence from the article (it was strangely the user's only edit!?) Feel free to put it back while we discuss it here. — Stumps 14:31, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

The following pages refer to Justin Clemens:

Also, WP:BIO is not actually a *policy* as such but a guideline, becuase notability is, as Justin himself would put it, not a category. ?

21st Century Sonnet section - encyclopedic?[edit]

The second part of the Modern Sonnet section appears to be nothing but ads for websites/particular publications to me. Do others feel that these sites/publications are of enough importance to warrant the prominent mention here, or should we cut? Here's the section in question:

The 21st century has seen a strong resurgence of the sonnet form, as there are many sonnets now appearing in print and on the Internet. Sara Russell is the editor of the UK e-zine Poetry Life and Times, in which she publishes hundreds of sonnets; Richard Vallance, the editor for rhymed verse in Poetry Life and Times, also publishes the Canadian Quarterly journal, SONNETTO POESIA ISSN 1705-4524, dedicated to the sonnet, villanelle, and quatrain forms, as well as the monthly Vallance Review on historical and contemporary sonneteers. Michael R. Burch publishes The HyperTexts and there are sonnets from well-known poets on his site. William Baer has also recently published 150 Contemporary Sonnets (University of Evansville Press 2005). ]] Even Rapper K-Os is talking about sonnet in his "Lovesong".

Thoughts would be appreciated. Tom 22:36, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

I would tend to agree with you on this point. In my opinion, the maxim to follow on a literature/poetry entry is that unless an author or editor has created or showcased important examples of work which have helped define/advance the genre as a whole they do not deserve space to be dedicated to them in the main article. If new articles were created to it from the "links" in the case of journals or from the "soneteer" category in the case of persons I would see no real problem with it as long as the list did not grow too large. However, the presence of entries like this in the main article seems a bit off to me Prokopton 02:28, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Lentini, Giacomo da[edit]

The name Giacomo da Lentini on Wikipedia is different than in The Development of the Sonnet: An Introduction by Michael R. G. Spiller (Routledge, 1992) (ISBN 0415087414). There it is spelled Giacomo da Lentino which seems to be the more common spelling of his name. Perhaps whoever copied the information from Encyclopædia Britannica is correct, but this is the only time I've seen his name spelled like it is on the Wikipedia site. Please correct me if I am mistaken. Galo1969X 14:24, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, I don't know, but "Giacomo da Lentini" gets 16,300 google-hits, whereas "Giacomo da Lentino" only gets 271. I know wikpedia is mirrored a lot, but 16,300 seems pretty convincing. Stumps 14:27, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

A Convolution for the Masses: The Sonnet Contourné[edit]

I developed a form of sonnet that takes the number of rhymes in a Shakespearean sonnet and adapted it to fit the form of a Petrarchan sonnet. I have read that the English sonnet is not balanced with the turn (generally) after the third quatrain, thus leaving a witty couplet. That the Petrarchan sonnet nearly conforms to the golden ratio clearly advances the idea of balance and proportion. I created this form by an algorithm which with a little alteration allowed for an interesting convoluted form: ABCA DBCE DFG EFG. Some may argue that this form does not constitute a sonnet (but more a quatorzain) since the rhymes in the octave flow into the rhymes in the sestet. In that respect it would be more like the Onegin Stanza, though not as flexible as Pushkin's form allowed. I find it an enjoyable and challenging form that does not force me to adopt a form that is hundreds of years old, and thus overused. I also created this form since the Petrarchan sonnet does not in its limited rhyme scheme work well in the English language, but obviously well in Italian, which has a superfluity of rhyming words. If anyone wants to discuss this matter I'm open to further comment, especially if someone has actually seen this form created before. Thanks. Galo1969X 08:24, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Sonnetology: Article, Category, & List to create[edit]

NOTE: eventually create article for "Sonneteer" (a person who composes sonnets), create "Category:Sonneteers" and add many names, and build a manual list of prominent sonneteers @ List of sonneteers (sub-category of "Category:Lists of poets"). --WassermannNYC 13:19, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Also, create Category:Sonnets. --WassermannNYC 13:30, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

English Rhyme Scheme Example[edit]

Illustrating the English sonnet, is Shakespeare's Sonnet 116, including the following lines:

Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks (e)
Within his bending sickle's compass come; (f)
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, (e)
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. (f)

The words "come" and "doom" don't seem to rhyme. Do they rhyme under some pronunciations, or is this a violation of the rhyme scheme? In either case, shouldn't there be an explanatory note? Aknyra 09:43, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if they ever rhymed, but keep in mind this was from a time during the Great Vowel Shift, and vowels sounded different from how they sound today, so it is quite possible the words rhymed at the time. 00:09, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
It could also simply be an example of a slant rhyme. Pnkrockr 02:18, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Its not a violation of the rhyme scheme. If you read material about pronunciation during that time you would see that they do rhyme. They did for a long while after as well, in fact. And in some dialects of english still do. A selection from Dicken's 'Nicholas Nickleby' (chapter 39) where he has a lower class character, John Browdie Speak:

'Monsther!--Ye're aboot right theer, I reckon, Mrs Browdie,' said the countryman good-humouredly, as he came slowly down in his huge top-coat; 'and wa'at dost thee tak yon place to be noo--thot'un owor the wa'? Ye'd never coom near it 'gin you thried for twolve moonths. It's na' but a Poast Office! Ho! ho! They need to charge for dooble-latthers. A Poast Office! Wa'at dost thee think o' thot? 'Ecod, if thot's on'y a Poast Office, I'd loike to see where the Lord Mayor o' Lunnun lives."

The Bolding is mine; but you can see by this "phonetic" writing style that the words do rhyme Prokopton 02:44, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Are sonnets founded by William Shakespeare????[edit]

Most sonnets are by Shakespeare??? Are they founded by him??? Or did he just bring them to life??

Please refer to the section on Sicilian School for more information on the genesis of the sonnet form. Galo1969X 16:51, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

The Italian sonnet[edit]

The start of this section has an incomplete sentence.-- 20:45, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

This page needs sections on French and Spanish golden-age sonnets.[edit] (talk) 18:08, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I confirm: this article is too nationalistic: Britons were not the only sonnet-writers. You also missed the Italian sonnets of XVI century. Lele giannoni (talk) 17:30, 27 September 2011 (UTC)


To better allow readers to verify the information provided on a sonnet, this article should include more sources from a ride range of respected literary critics to back up the claims it makes about the poetic form and references. Mrathel (talk) 18:09, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

"little song"[edit]

I have reverted a recent undocumented change from "little song" to "little sound" ... because that would shift to the literal Italian and ignore the Occitan reference in the sentence. Note that this "minor" issue is fairly complicated: See [1]. Perhaps a longer sentence would get this "exactly" right, but the introduction may not be the place for such detailed etymology. Comments? Proofreader77 (talk) 16:22, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


Per MoS, if the article subject is specifically British or American, that spelling is used, otherwise the first spelling used in writing the article is adhered to, as a precedent. This article was originally spelled with American spelling (pentameter, not pentametre) but a case could plausibly be made that the subject, where it is not Italian, is British. I leave this to the usual editors of this article to discuss. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 17:50, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Not Encyclopaedic[edit]

"... (with some typical variances one may expect when reading an Elizabethan-age sonnet with modern eyes):" appears to be un-encyclopaedic and informal. If it is not fixed by someone soon, I will remove it. Zen Clark (talk) 02:54, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Please explain why you do not feel it is correct. There is an issue here of students reading and being confused by the fact some of the lines do not rhyme according to the specification: abab cdcd efef gg. And some words had more syllables then, than now. Feel free to suggest how this might be phrased more suitably. Proofreader77 (talk) 03:02, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

The Verve[edit]

Is it necessary to have a link to the Verve song at the the beginning of the article? The subject of this article is likely what the majority of users will be searching for when they come here, and I don't feel it is necessary to have this link at the top simply because there happens to be a song with the same title as one of the most common poem forms in the history of English literature. If it were a wildly notable song, it might be different, but as far as I know, it is hardly on the same level. I am unsure of precedence on the matter, so I do defer to the judgment of others. Mrathel (talk) 17:28, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

The "hatnote" link is "standard procedure" .... If there were many articles with the name "Sonnet (x)" there would be a disambiguation page "Sonnet (disambiguation)" and the link at the top of this page would point there. But disambiguation pages aren't created unless there are more than two articles to link to. When there are two (as we have here), the "hatnote" link to the other is standard Wikipedia process. (I think I'm repeating now. :) Cheers. Proofreader77 (talk) 17:40, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. It just appears strange to me is all. Its like having a hatnote for the Qu'ran that says "the article on the Qu'ran, click here for the 1975 hit song by Paul Simon's brother." or something of the like. But, I guess I can just wait and pray that more notable subjects get an article with the title "Sonnet" :) Mrathel (talk) 17:48, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
You're very welcome. Will be scanning the zeitgeist for potential articles. ^^ Happy holidays. Proofreader77 (talk) 18:02, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Occitan sonnet's sestet[edit]

The description says the sestet is c-d-c-c-d-c, but it looks to me a lot more like c-d-c, d-c-d:

Nostre Senhier faccia a vus compagna

per qe en ren no vus qal[la] duptar;
tals quida hom qe perda qe gazaingna.
Seigner es de la terra e de la mar,
per qe lo Rei Engles e sel d'Espangna

ne varran mais, vorres aiudar.

Can anyone explain how this is c-d-c, c-d-c please?
Corgi (talk) 17:54, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was to merge NotFromUtrecht (talk) 18:02, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Petrarch's and Shakespeare's Sonnets contains a lot of unsourced material/original research and is written like a personal essay, but does contain some content which could be merged here. Rather than listing it for deletion I thought I'd suggest merging it here first. NotFromUtrecht (talk) 09:52, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Actually, I've just reviewed the Petrarch's and Shakespeare's Sonnets article, and it contains so little useful content that I'm simply going to list it for deletion instead. NotFromUtrecht (talk) 18:05, 3 March 2012 (UTC)


The article, as it is now, is far too focussed on English sonnets, and Shakespeare's for that matter. There's nothing wrong with covering those in detail, but outside of the section on sonnets' Italian origins and the strangely tacked-on bit about Urdu sonnets, a reader must get the (entirely false) impression that sonnets did not exist in other languages and in other nations' poetry. -- Schneelocke (talk) 23:57, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree. The introduction jumps straight to Shakespeare, as if his predecessors were unimportant. I see no reason why the introduction shouldn't stop at, "...although the term can be used derisively." The English sonnet is covered adequately in the body of the article. I intend to truncate the introduction, unless someone offers an argument for leaving it as it is. Dayvey (talk) 10:25, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Chain of Sonnets[edit]

I just read about a form of sonnet collection da:Sonetring consisting of 15 14 line sonnets, where each sonnet begins with the last line of the precding one and the fifteenth sonnet (called a master sonnet) is composed of the 14 first lines. This seems different from both Crown of Sonnets and Sonnet cycle. Does this format exist in English poetry and if so what is it called?·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:05, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Sonnet's Inventor?[edit]

The article's first line states that the sonnet's creation is credited to Petrarch, but in the first section it states (correctly, I believe), that its inventor is Giacomo da Lentini. Could somebody correct this? I know in English the typical Italian sonnet is often called "Petrarchan", but Petrarch hardly invented the sonnet, considering that there are sonnets composed long before he was even born. (talk) 11:49, 22 May 2014 (UTC)