Sonnet the Traditional Sonnet Form Became Popular Thesis

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The traditional sonnet form became popular during the Renaissance. This poem consisted of fourteen lines with a specific meter and rhyme scheme which depended on the sonnet form it was written in. Most would have a set of eight lines called an octave or two four line sets called quatrains. These would be followed by a sestet or grouping of six lines. When the sonnet found its way to Elizabethan England, the form was toyed with, most famously by William Shakespeare who created the Elizabethan or Shakespearian sonnet wherein three sets of quatrains would be written in iambic pentameter and ended with a rhyming couplet (Miller). With the advent of free verse, the relatively strict rules of sonnet structure broke down completely. Lines no longer had to rhyme nor follow any particular rhythm. Poet Laureate Billy Collin's poem titled "Sonnet" is a perfect example of the modern sonnet in that it breaks down the form and comments on the original format of a sonnet poem.

In "Sonnet," Collins uses no fixed rhythm and no rhyme to tell about how a poet creates a sonnet. The only part of the original form that survives is his adherence to a poem length of fourteen lines.
The first lines of the poem read "All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now / and after this one just a dozen" (lines 1-2). The first line is eleven syllables while the second is only nine. Throughout the piece, he narrates a countdown of lines, as if the completion of the poem is the only real goal for writing the poem. The sonnet, he argues, is an easy form to write in unless you opt to try to practice the Elizabethan format in which "the iambic bongos must be played / and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines, / one for every station of the cross" (lines 6-8). In making a statement about the formality of the Elizabeth sonnet, he also alludes to some of the religious iconography that Renaissance poets would employ in their work (Weich).

Collin's motive for writing a sonnet, he says, is "to launch a little ship on love's storm-tossed seas" (line 3). Many original sonnets were composed in the form of love poetry. Although, quite often there was no….....

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