So You Want to Write an Award-winning Sonnet?

Photo credit: Johnson Photography

Photo credit: Johnson Photography

A.M. Juster

This workshop will provide a brief overview of the sonnet with an emphasis on contemporary masters and less well-known sonnet forms. Students should familiarize themselves with the basic concepts of formal poetry in advance of the workshop; Baer's Writing Metrical Poetry and Steele's All The Fun's In How You Say a Thing are the recommended texts.

So You Want to Win a Nemerov?

OK, you lust for gold: a Nemerov.
Tip 1: Avoid lines forced for rhyme, such as:
“I was so mad I told the lemur off!”
or “Since Marceau would never mime much jazz.”
Tip 2: They loveth not the words of yore.
It is four hundred years since Shakespeare wrote;
don’t make his ghost return. Tip 3: Don’t bore
the judge, which means it’s hopeless to devote
your fourteen lines to end-stopped platitudes.
Tip 4: your sestet needs a “turn.”
                                                   OH SHIT!!!
Tip 5: Forget the turn! Their attitudes
about such things can be…indefinite.
Tips 6 & 7: Rewrite it if it sucks
and don’t forget each entry costs three bucks.

                               Originally published on 14 by 14



Sponsored by the Trustees of the Robert Frost Farm and the Hyla Brook Poets