I need help writing MY OWN sonnet.  I know the rhyme scheme and everything; I just don't know how to write it.The sonnet can be about anything. So far my topic ideas are about freshman year,...

I need help writing MY OWN sonnet.  I know the rhyme scheme and everything; I just don't know how to write it.

The sonnet can be about anything. So far my topic ideas are about freshman year, winter, or about a cat. I just don't know how to write it. PLEASE HELP ME.

Asked on by geezus

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mizzwillie's profile pic

mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

Since the form of the sonnet seems to be established already but the topic is not, narrowing your topic is the next step.  The answer above gives you a good way to hear the sound of sonnets which should help.  Narrowing your topic seems to be the problem.  Which topic is meaningful to you?  Which topic evokes the most emotion? Why are these topics important to you?  Write down a list about each of the three topics listing what you want to say and what is their meaning to you so that you can help a reader understand their importance to you through your sonnet.  Remember that the sonnet is meant to convey something important or emotionally meaningful and the words you choose so carefully must not only fit the pattern but impart your feelings and thoughts. Maybe freshman year has the most ideas for you.  Think about what you learned that year as a person, a student, a part of a new community, relationships, the fears and triumphs--the list could be endless. Then write the sonnet with the ideas you respond to most which will help convey the meaning of what you have to say.  Rewrite and choose the exact right word to fit the pattern and meaning.    

lbschnelle's profile pic

lbschnelle | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Get the feel of iambic pentameter by clapping out one of Shakespeare’s sonnets.  Listen to the downbeat:

(shall I comPARE thee TO a SUMMer’s DAY)

Clap on each underlined word.  Once you’ve got the rhythm learned, it’s easy to apply an originally created line.  Such as,

“my CAT has FUR so BLACK and EYES so GREEN."  

or “so MAny  THINGS to LEARN in FRESHman YEAR.” 

Then, once your topic is established in that first line, the next 13 can build upon it.  Here’s a hint: since you must consider end-rhyme for the sonnet’s rhyme patten (ABAB, etc.) choose easily rhyming words to end your lines.  

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