The Our Lost Jungle Challenge, July 30. 2012, was to write three sonnets. Khara House asked us to write two that are not so familiar to us—Petrarchan and Spenserian. Both are new for me. Then the third one was to write a more modern one. Sonnet rules are not difficult, but the writing of them, for me anyway, is time-consuming.
Here are the rules for the Shakespearean sonnet. The others are variations on the same rules. See Khara’s blog for more details.
1. 14 lines, written in iambic pentameter
2. The 14 lines are structured in three quatrains and a couplet
3. The third quatrain typically introduces a volta (that is, a “turn” in the theme or imagery)
4. The couplet presents the actual volta, and usually summarizes the theme or message of the sonnet
5. The rhyme scheme is typically ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG
“The beast of the mind” Petrarchan
A lonely walk tames not this beast, nor foul
kiss allay the game of days—milked and marked,
erased of years in journals worn. Embarked
at birth, this beast, cruel huntsman on the prowl
for precious thought. He, the demon owl
of time and mind. Countless suns anarched
of worth, erased on calendar, birth-marked
under skin and smiles, dignity and scowl.
She has been the least of these. A meek sage
of crescent love, gray wounded of said beast.
What threat is she to future years? I walk
and ponder fate alone, my driving rage
attacks cruel men, minds intact, hers released
to prayer and air, my ire condensed to talk.
* * *
“Humming Blues” Spenserian
No one can hum like he can hum in rhyme.
Sometimes his tunes blend alto and deep bass
played like fluffy pillows for mind sublime.
A man of wit and charm with just a trace
of wise. Uncle to young and all in ways
of poem and song that grow from Adam’s throat
with buttoned lips and just a bit of space
between. Amazing feat it is to quote
note by note Yeats and Dunne with hum; a mote
of men, he is, in the grand old plan of
world and war, the only one we’d ever vote
for king of fun and he returns our love.
The grave is dug, jaw locked in smoker blue.
Still humming ‘cause it’s all that he can do.
* * *
Fun It Up!
ABBA CDDC DEED FF
Second word of each line rhymes with one word in same line.
Most lines remain at ten syllables, loose meter.
My feet, two feet from his two feet, most weeks
we greet then eat a meal at table without words,
A nod will do for seconds. Two odd birds
playing house—a mouse and a bull that reeks
of work and dirt. Perk the coffee, slice the pie
into thirds, exchange a few words prior to
the news, a review of duties for the new
day and dusk turns into a bland alibi
to stare at our fatigue without a care.
Who is the fool–the Lady misses or
is it the Tramp? Neither will admit nor
point at fault because that is the place where
sharing yoke and burden join folk whose
feet, week by week, walk in each other’s shoes.