Canst not thou fascination herewith see;
With fascination whereunto I saw;
That once herewith so simple, and with awe,
That actually such as this might be?
Art thou, to look upon, as fine as she?
Canst thou, as fine a work of art–or draw
A thing–as this, unveiled, without flaw?
Doth it pale in comparison to thee?
And art thou one, of which were only two?
Or art thou one, if such were only three?
Hast thou, among so many, seen, as me,
Perfection, took to pen, to sculpt? Or drew,
For, such a thing is finer still; to be
So fine, that redefined a thing, as true.
I used to write sonnets. I liked the Spenserian style, with the interlocking rhymes: ABAB BCBC CDCD EE. The thing I liked about it was that I never knew where I was going to end up with it. I’m not a particularly good rhymer, so I’d find I was always steered by the form into expressing my thoughts completely differently than I would have done in prose and often found that the poem got across what I was thinking better than the words I would have chosen. That probably holds far less novelty for you than it did for me as a prose-besotted teenager with no real interest in poetry, but it was a real revelation for me. It helped me understand why strict rhyme and meter and even gimmicks like writing a novel without using the letter E are actually useful tools for the writer, not just parlor tricks. I think my dabbling in sonnetry really helped me tame my prose as I was learning.
Thank you, Yago, for this very thoughtful reply. I have just rescued it from my spam queue. I am not sure why it was there.
Any endeavour that makes one stretch is helpful. Sometimes these endeavours give one more than just new insight. There are one or two letters the sound of which I do not like. In my prose, which I do not post, I have found it beneficial to avoid these, within reason. I am very sound oriented and enjoy reading aloud, and therefore by doing this, I am able to create an experience that is as enjoyable for the reader as for the listener. I have, for example, dealt with the topic to which you refer in the sequence Five Petalled Flower, particularly in #5 of the sequence.
I enjoy also reversing known forms and devising new ones, for example reversing Mr. Spenser’s scheme: BABA CBCB DCDC EE can yield a particularly lovely result.
Ah the beauty of sonnets
I do love the form. It is the form that love gave to me.
…and that you gave love to…