Poetry Slam 2k13: The Shakespearean Sonnet

by courtvanhaaren

You know, I actually don’t recall ever reading any of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Shocking, right? Honestly the only thing I can ever recall off hand is the “Shall I compare thee to a summers’ day?” (read:shall I make a bunch of impressive similes and metaphors? They’re romantic!)

Alas, in my conquest to better comprehend the mechanics behind the poetic meter, I have decided it’s in my best interest to compose and study the sonnet (for this little venture, the highly popular Shakespearean sonnet) for the next approximate week. I’m not going to make any real promises as to what I will end up posting since work is going to be picking up again after tomorrow, but my general plan is to:

A) Compose at the least one sonnet. Three for better comprehension, five if I’m able to get the swing of it.

B) Read all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. First and foremost the ones in iambic pentameter, since that is the meter I am trying to utilize. (I know most of  them are in iambic pentameter, but I did see that there are a couple of them in different meters. No point in reading those first)

C) Be able to confidently say by the end of this week that I truly feel as if I have gained some knowledge in the workings of poetic meter.

Shouldn’t be too hard, right? I certainly hope not.

As far as the format for the Shakespearean sonnet goes:

*fourteen lines

*iambic pentameter

*rhyming scheme of a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g (with the last as a couplet)

You know I actually had to count out those letters to see the fourteen lines? Anxiety or general math will be my downfall in this slam.

At the current moment I do not have any general ideas to begin with. Wonderful, right? Well, I think I shall call upon my second muse for this specific style. Wait, second muse? I actually should refer to this muse as my first. It was, after all, this muse that encouraged a free verse poem I’ve been working/currently slacking on, which inadvertently led to the development of the poetry slam.

Anyways, yes, my first muse, my unnamed beloved. (Is this a Shakespearean concept also? I don’t remember. Somebody doesn’t name drop their loved one’s name, I’m sure of it.  Anyways, I have used this muse before in writings and never refer by name, only Him. This is where I would cleverly quote a rose by any other name would smell as sweet)

Awesome. For the time being, I must sleep. I need to be able to dedicate some of my daytime tomorrow to reading and composition. On top of reading Jane EyreThis is going to be a hectic week, I can definitely sense it. Ah well, I’m praying it goes by smoothly and is an eye-opening experience to really make this poetry slam interesting.

Until tomorrow

~C M VanHaaren