• RSS Versifier

    • Questing
      I am a strong believer in renewable energy, but it’s not a free lunch.  Significant amounts of energy has to be used to change quartz sand to silicon.   Silane gas produced during the manufacturing process is extremely explosive, and explosions occur.  Another risk is that we currently have no safety masks that can prevent […]
    • Blyth Estuary Evening
      There is a wonderful walk along the line of the old narrow gauge railwayline to Southwold, where it runs alongside the Blyth estuary.  I led a walk for a group of poets there this year, and this was one of the poems that I read on the walk.  We had a very enjoyable workshop after […]
    • As The Light Changes
      The East Anglian Daily Times ran an article entitled ’22 beautiful poems about East Anglia’ in their Saturday magazine insert on March 18th this year. I was very pleased to see this poem of mine on the same page as poems by Sir Walter Raleigh and George Szirtes. TO HEAR THIS POEM PLEASE CLICK ON […]
    • The Last Word
      By way of a change, here is a short piece of prose: In a writers’ group this morning we were challenged to write a short story in 150 words.  The story below contains exactly that number.   The light was starting to fade, and breaking soft waves seemed even quieter.  He stopped collecting pebbles and […]
    • Moving Hands
      How many things that  seemed eternal early in life, have completely vanished?                         TO HEAR THIS POEM PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW ABOVE   Sometime in the nineteen-fifties it perched on the hundred-foot workshop,  where Waitrose’s  entrance is now. It would pace the working lives of hundreds. […]
    • You know you are worth it
      I wrote this poem in mid November this year, then my e-mail inbox started to fill with ‘Pre-Black Friday’ offers, then ‘Black Friday’ offers, followed later by ‘Post Black Friday’ offers, and now I am seeing ‘Black Friday repeat offers’!  Reality has overtaken imagination.   TO HEAR THIS POEM PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE […]
    • Poems for a portrait
      I agreed to sit as the model again this morning for an art group producing portraits.  We had a cultural exchange as at the end of the two sessions as I recited the Haikus composed in my head during the forty minutes of the sitting.  I then exchanged a book of my poetry for the […]
    • Last Orders
      This poem won a ‘Commended’ award in the recent 2016 George Crabbe Poetry Competition.  The competition judge, Moniza Alvi, wrote of ‘Last Orders’ “Tragic and hard hitting, I found this poignant poem compelling.”  ” This is a poem with a real sense of urgency”. PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM […]
    • Irony
      During a few days in Liverpool we visited Crosby Beach, to see the Antony Gormley sculptures arranged as  ‘Another Place’.  Two friends had been examining the work, and turned to walk off the beach.  I took the photograph below, and the poem was written after I examined the image, using an  element of artistic license. ‘Communing’ […]
    • Illuminating Longing
      Here is a shared experience from the night of the full ‘Strawberry  Moon’ on June 20th.  A warm evening after a wet morning promised the sight of Nightjars hunting, and the moon was a bonus, PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM   The mist quilt  slips across the sodden heath […]

The Sonnet

The English or Shakespearian Sonnet.
Shakespeare was one of several early sixteenth century poets who developed the Italian Sonnet form into the version that become popular.  The form often carries his name as his sonnets in this style have become the most famous in English literature.

The rhyme scheme is the determining factor in the fourteen lines of the sonnet.  It usually carries a directional break, as in its Italian progenitor, between the octave and the sestet (first 8 and last 6 lines), and there is often another meaning turn between the 12th line and the final couplet.  This turning point is often the main twist in the poem.

The poem is rhymed in quatrains for the first twelve lines to conclude with a couplet.

The rhyme scheme can be:

Below is a sonnet in Shakespearian form  that I wrote when I was spending a year studying the Bard, and decided to try my hand.

Snapshot for a Sonnet
My ageing puts the world in shorter focus,                 (a)
events of previous import pass unnoticed,                  (b)
certainty no longer holds firm status,                           (a)
and memory works less smoothly unrehearsed.         (b)
My eyesight still retains its long range vision,             (c)
its interest with detail does not weary;                        (d)
valuing the colour or quick motion                                (c)
that separates the different from the dreary.             (d)
So I thought, but shredding hoarded papers               (e)
I found in jumbled snapshots of my wife                      (f)
that vibrancy and beauty never falter                         (e)
but habit mutes their presence in our life.                   (f)
           Confident glances from a shared long past.      (g)
           Momentary connections, still holding fast.       (g)

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