Sonnets in Songs


Sonnets in Songs

Definition:  From Latin sonus – sound; Italian - sonetto - song  14 line verse form   Conventional rhyme scheme Usually examines and juxtaposes two contrasting ideas either to resolve or reveal tensions between them   They are a technical and accomplished form of poetry with roots in the Renaissance Typically they have been written about love       


Iambic pentameter Quatrain (groups of 4 lines) - abab / cdcd / efef Couplet (final two lines) - gg Each quatrain develops specific idea All quatrains linked Placement of volta is flexible Couplet is usually a decisive closing statement          Iambic pentameter (unstressed – stressed syllable, repeated 5 times in line) Octave (first 8 lines) - abbaabba Sestet (remaining 6 lines) can include any of the following: cdcdcd cddcdc cdecde cdeced cdcedc


 poem divided into two sections offering two different rhyme groups octave forms ‘proposition’ or problem; sestet forms ‘resolution’  volta (turn) at line 9 – introduction of 2 nd idea / change of subject matter / problem to resolution What implication does this have for our study?  It is a complex and elevated form of poetry – how does this link with the subject matter of the sonnets in Songs?  A fruitful area of exploration is to look at any links between rhyming words in the sonnets  Also, consider where the volta comes and what this introduces    Think about the effect of the couplet (Shakespearean) Be aware of any disruption to the metre Any break of pattern is significant and worthy of comment Further details on sonnet form: