Part 7: (14 lines by clause)

Here you will find the words themselves, presented in freeverse as simply and compactly as possible.  The order of the words is not changed; there is nothing added or removed, but punctuated in order to make it easier to follow the words–something just short of prose, perhaps.   And although the  line lengths appear problematic, it so happens that there are 14 of these lines.

I should state that the words were originally written this way, although you might have suspected that the original form was presented in part 5.  In any case, the words are easily understood now.

Just read the words.  Think about what they mean; perhaps in answer to the original prompt:

Part 4: (verbs)

I thought the following would be an interesting form of analysis.  What would happen, I wondered, if I picked out all or most of the verb/verb-like structures and began each line with them?  How many would there be, and what form would begin to unfold?  Strangely Triadic line more or less suggests itself.  Not of the form I originally showed but still this exercise generates 14 verses, and it might start to become clear that I tend to subconsciously “think in sonnets.”  I wasn’t aware originally that some of these types of patterns would arise, but it seems as though they have.

Have a look and see if this helps you understand the words any better.  What does one think of when one sees such lines?  It is curious that many of the lines appear to look and sound like a certain variety of 20 century poetry; wherein one often sees lines beginning and ending in odd spots–possibly to create tension, and possibly for some other reason–or even no reason at all.

Part 1, The Prompt: (the words themselves)



All your spirits are low
and the tears are hot
on your checks

then I would do anything
in my power
to give you peace.


If I could write today
if I could fool the Gods
as they sleep

into thinking that your voice
speaks through my hand
for one brief moment

to give you rest
to buy you time
then I would write today.

I had originally intended another subject for this beginning; however, my sweetheart wrote, or rather spoke these lovely words.  And, although I have already answered this with another sonnet, it seemed more interesting than the rather “Plain-Jane” subject I had planned–originally something regarding nature, “with rain in,” as they might say across the pond–people like rain quite a lot.  I tend to get the most hits on rain related sonnets, although of late my reading and following, i.e. social aspects of blogging, have been spotty at best.

The first few of these might–should–not truly be called sonnets in any sense; perhaps egregiously not; and, excepting that they contain no squiggly lines, are perhaps  even more egregious, and less worthy of the name than those of Tim Wossname, of whom I wrote at the very opus of this blogging adventure.  However, and although… this is after all, my sixth month reward to myself and as such, I do not feel more than slight and occasional pangs of guilt over this.

Leave it to me, in fact to come up with a reward that is more work than the endeavour for which I am rewarding myself.  In any case, as I have been ill these past few weeks until recently, this is rather more like using ones accrued vacation days for a protracted illness rather than the enjoyable trip for which they were intended.

So this first prompt will be a true free form example.  I will not or at least significantly not reorder or rephrase the words in the first several iterations.  This is because I would like to use the opportunity of placing the words in several different formats to substitute for a more formal analysis.  The reason for this is twofold:

First, this is not a “course,” if such it may be called at all, on how to write sonnets, but rather one on how to read them; and second, although this is a bit unconventional, I should like the (one or two) readers who stumble upon this work to have already dispensed with several levels of understanding of the words themselves as well as their structure.

Not everyone learns in the same way of course, but this sequence is aimed  in particular at people who are most in the habit of “doing things all at once” or “flying by the seat of their pants.”  People who like to “just take it all in at once,” so to speak, have trouble with more ordered forms of writing because the more layers and complexity, the better served one is by a multi tiered understanding.  For example I would say that in general, good advice to such a person/student would be to read the words aloud, without trying to understand them.  Just to familiarise oneself with them–with the sound of them.  Learning to recite a sonnet–even by memory–takes one more easily to the next step of figuring out what the whole thing might be about.

So to make that easier, and reverse the process, I thought it would make more sense to present a form with which most people are familiar and which more directly can be taken in “all at once.”

SO, on with the show:

First, in order to show the importance of form, are the words themselves. 

It may be difficult to follow their meaning at this phase, and they are presented this way only because it may illustrate why we might choose a particular form at all, why we use punctuations or full sentences when appropriate–in prose or in poetry.

Nothing in fact is without form. 

In fact, where poetry concerned, form simply aids in the presentation of the work, or obfuscates it–both of which may be a desired result, and certainly may or may not be the intent and the result of more demanding forms.  Any freeverse poem is presented in a form.  It may be free-form, so to speak…

but it cannot be free of form. 

If I took each word separately on a tiny scrap of paper, and sprinkled them around the world, it would still be a form; pointless, one might argue, but still a form.

Take a look:

This entry is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all: