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What is a Sonnet poem?

A sonnet is a poem of an expressive thought or idea made up of 14 lines, each being 10 syllables long. Its rhymes are arranged according to one of the schemes – Italian, where eight lines called an octave consisting of two quatrains which normally open the poem as the question are followed by six lines called a sestet that are the answer, or the more common English which is three quatrains followed by a rhyming couplet.

The Structure of a Sonnet Poem

ab ab, cdcd, efef, gg - English
(abba abba cdecde) - Italian


An example of a Sonnet poem

Scribbler! oh what a joy you can find here A
Eric is the one that heads the great team B
Full of poems, stories and happy cheer A
Hopefully it will make our readers gleam B
Bronte's Grammar is full of homework help C
Guest authors revealing secrets galore D
While the tricky puzzles will make you yelp C
There is no way Scribbler! will make you snore D
Eric will start a tale needing an end E
Fancy a challenge? Puzzle Time is here F
Shakespeare picks the great pictures you all send E
Ev'ry issue's jam-packed, let's give a cheer F
How 'bout finding Eric hidden away G
Jump on the Scribbler! wagon, come and play! G

Why don't you try writing a sonnet and enter it into one of our poetry competitions.

For information on poetry types other than a sonnet visit our poetry glossary – poetry types.

Poetry Types

Acrostic Epigram Lyric Shakespearean Sonnet
Ballad Free verse Ottava rima Sonnet
Ballade Haiku Pantoum Tanka Poem
Blank verse Horatian Ode Pindaric Ode Terza rima
Cinquain Irregular Ode Riddle Tetractys
Diamante Kennings Rondeau Triolet
Echo Verse Kyrielle Senryu Tyburn
Epic Limerick Shape Poem  
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