Fense's Workshop: Simply the Sonnet

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5 February 2009

Wow! 23 Entries submitted. Congratulations everyone, there is a lot to look at but if you all could take a few to look at and chare your feedback, as always we would much appreciate it. We don’t expect anyone to attempt to look at all 23 mind, so don’t push yourselves unless you really fancy it! :devfemse: will also be reading these entries and will provide a write up at our next update (8th February)

Also for everyone who submitted this time, we would like to direct your attention to the literary magazine Soundzine who are looking for sonnets for their next edition. Maybe after some polishing you should all consider submitting- you never know it may get accepted!

In my mind there is no Doubt by xCamix
When Meeting She by TocTicTocTic
Farewell to the Heroes by SkyeVeran
The Muted Pencil by SirNerian
A Sonnet to Calculus by sentimental-rain
Spaced Out by dr3amup
Avalons Decieved Princess by Rellaenthia
Legacy by Razput1n
A Daydreamers Vow by PunkPygmiePuff
Love in a Mousehole by orphicfiddler
Mistress Moon by NimsaYNerd
The Workings of Fate by Link8522
The Affair of Silent Love by KeeperOfLight
Freely Written Sonnet by Kitz-the-Kitsune
Summer’s Night by Halatia
Sonnet II, or Batou Learns His Forms...Poorly by GaioumonBatou
Winter’s Reign by Francine1991
A Phrase by EvenAfterTwelve
After The War by Drunken-Splice
Facing the Sonnet Head-on by DainBrammage
Self Trap by Hopchurch
Winter Sonnet by brytning
Early Modern by batousaijin

4 February 2009

:star: There are about 13 hours until this workshop closes, so make sure you note us your entries as soon as possible!

fense’s Workshop:  Simply the Sonnet


fense is a high school student living in Baltimore, Maryland. His poetry emerged out of his passion for music and song writing, and has developed overtime with influence from Victorian poets. His piece "An Ode That Rhymes" was published in JHU's Imagine Magazine after winning a nation-wide contest. When he is not writing, he is running, eating, drawing, or singing (too loudly and too often, his sister may add). He plans to attend MassArt in the fall to study graphic design.

Simply the Sonnet

I’d like to welcome everyone to my Workshop! Ever since I started writing and appreciating poetry, I have pushed others to attempt the formal styles and precise decision-making that are seen in the works of most famous poets, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, or William Shakespeare. One feels a greater sense of maturity, complexity, and beauty in the most simple poems when proper attention is paid to rhyme and rhythm.

It is quite easy to find open poetry nowadays – it defines the angst and incongruity of today’s society, and is an easy way to express emotion. The reason I am presenting you with the tedious, sometimes obnoxious challenge of this Workshop is to test your skills not as an open book of emotion, but as a writer. Anyone can write “My heart is empty/I need to find my soul” but not many will take it the step further and produce a couplet with a specific meter and natural rhyme.

With any sign of light my heart does yearn
To seek my soul, and pray the soul return

Fixed poetry is never as natural, or as easy to understand. What it does prove, however, is that the poet can not only feel this deeper connection with the world, but present it with grace, and in a manner that displays effort and discipline.

And come on, who here has really thought about meter and rhyme schemes in the past?

:bulletblack: So why the sonnet?

The sonnet ( "little song" ) is a perfect representation of every theme that fixed poetry encompasses. It displays a control in the rhythm of each line of poetry and the ability to rhyme, as well as a skill in telling a tale, with a climactic adjustment. You become a storyteller and a sculptor of words. If there is any challenge presented in poetic form, one will find it in the creation of a sonnet.

:bulletblack: Have you read to this point and remain clueless as to what a Sonnet truly is? Allow me to give you some quick pointers:

A sonnet has 14-lines, and follows a specific rhyme scheme and meter. At a point in this short stretch, the poem will shift its focus (the location depends on the rhyme scheme, which gives it emphasis), or offer a solution to a problem. If one complains about love, he may ironically begin to discuss his inability to escape from it. If one explains the beauty of nature, he may begin to discuss how bothersome it is to him personally. The rhyme scheme can be one of many different combinations, but here are some notes on the most popular forms:

• English (Shakespearean): ABAB CDCD EFEF GG
The resolution will most likely occur in the concluding couplet.

• Italian (Petrarchan): ABBAABBA CDECDE
The sestet may be any combination of C, D, and/or E (CCDDEE, CDCDCD, etc.). The viewpoint shifts between the octave in the beginning (the 8-line set), and the sestet.

• Spenserian: ABAB BCBC CDCD EE
The form is similar to that of the English sonnet, and the message acts in a similar manner.

A quick note on meter: An English sonnet is most often written in iambic pentameter, but any fixed meter may be employed (this goes for each form). What remains important is that a proper meter is maintained throughout the poem. For a more in-depth analysis, visit this link: [link]

:bulletblack: For more help, there is no greater source than Wikipedia:


And for inspiration, here are many examples:

fense.deviantart.com/art/In-Yo… (hehe)

:bulletblack: Your Assignment:

You are simply to write a sonnet. Pay very careful attention to all of the factors explained above. I look forward to reading them!

Please enter a new poem. You may have already attempted a sonnet in the past, but we want to encourage a fresh attempt!

How to Submit
After submitting your entry as a new deviation or scrap, send us a note with a link to your piece. Include the subject line "SONNET" in your note. The deadline is midnight February 4th 2009. All times are set for GMT. fense will respond to the entries on Feburary 8th, 2009.

A note from Writers-Workshop Please note that this is a Poetry workshop, meaning that we will accept Poetry entries only. Proofread your work before you send it in so that grammatical and spelling errors are minimal. And most of all, have fun with it!

:postit: On Accepting Critique

:bulletblue:Always thank the critic. This gratitude must be as sincere as possible, even if you did not like the critique given, because the critic has taken time to offer his/her opinion of the piece.
:bulletblue:If you do not like the critique, it is not necessary to mention so. Simply thank the critic and move on. You can always ignore their suggestions, while not making a scene of it.
:bulletblue:If you are unsure of what the critique means, feel free to ask the critic what s/he meant. Building rapport with your critic is one of the best ways to survive in a workshop and to learn. If you want examples, ask. Similarly, if you like the suggestions given, mention it. Critic's have feelings too. :)
:bulletblue:In the unlikely case that a critic offers rude/sexist/racist/etc comments, feel free to contact Writers-Workshop in a note and we will try to help you. A decision regarding the rudeness of the critique will be taken, and if we're not sure ourselves, we will consult with one of the GDs or anyone else high up on deviantART.

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GaioumonBatou's avatar
I love how long my title is in comparison to everyone else's. :P