And now for the much-heralded Smootonian sonnet. I was much inspired by Gregory K’s new poetic artform. I decided I wanted to develop a new poem of my own. Unfortunately I’m not as creative as him, so I just created a variation of an existing type, the sonnet. Sonnets are rhyming poems with four stanzas in iambic pentameter (10 beats). There are all types, but you’re probably most familiar with the Shakesperian sonnet with its abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme. Since the Smootonian sonnet is just a variation, it only changes the rhyme scheme to abcabcab cabcdd (or the final couplet could be aa, bb, or cc. I’m flexible.) Remember that like an ode, sonnets also can be divided into two sections. The first eight lines are about one aspect of the object of the poem (like the question being raised, etc.), the last six lines are an answer to the first eight.

Try your hand at creating a Smootonian sonnet. And if this variation already exists, be sure to tell me. Although Smootonian has a nice ring, I will happily call these things by their correct name. Here’s mine. I used slant rhymes occasionally, not because I’m lazy, but because I don’t have a problem with them.

      A Snapshot of a Life in a Glass Frame

      I’m not in a very good frame of mind.
      I’m tired and it makes me seem irate.
      I feel some disregard my chosen life
      As something frivolous and wasted time.
      I’m tired of being told that they hate
      Where my life is going. They cause me strife
      And stress. I want to kick each fat behind,
      To shove away their long, bitter debate.

      Who cares if they go dissect with a knife
      My fragile day-to-day existence? Find
      Me one person happy with the way Fate
      Has played the hand of another. The Wife
      Of Perfection would still manage to displease one.
      Some just have no compass to point at Fun.

Clearly, I was not in a pleasant mood when I wrote this. There is no reason your sonnet needs to be quite this morose. They’re normally about love. Alas. I don’t see any 2 book deals in my future.

If you still want to try other types of rhyming poetry, Wikipedia has some forms listed here. Let me know how you do.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
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