So You Want to Write an Award-winning Sonnet?
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.”
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