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Sonnets

Subject - Sonnets

The sonnet is a frequently used poetic form, defined as a 14 line verse typically of five-foot iambics. There are a few standard rhyming schemes that have been used over the centuries:

Italian: ABBAABBA CDCDCD

English: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

Spenserian: ABAB BCBC CDCD EE

Italian Variation: ABABABAB CDCDEE

Within that form poets have found great freedom to present all manner of subjects and moods. Poets' Corner hosts many excellect ones. Some well known ones are noted here, along with many collections comprised solely of sonnets. The rhyming scheme of some sonnets is noted below in brackets.


  1. A Sonnet of the Moon by Charles Best

    a beautiful, tender love poem... not really about the moon at all [engl.]; one of Jon's favorites

  2. Sonnet XLIII by Elizabeth Barret Browning

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

  3. Death Be Not Proud by John Donne

    death's power is shown to be empty

  4. Batter my heart, three-personed God by John Donne
  5. The Sound of the Sea by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    ...foreshadowing and foreseeing
    Of things beyond our reason or control.

  6. On His Blindness by John Milton
  7. Methought I Saw My Late Espoused Saint... by John Milton

    Milton lets us share his grief, in this vision of his late wife [ital.]

  8. Sonnet CXVI: "Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds" by William Shakespeare

    [engl.]

    ... Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds

  9. Sonnet 39: "Come Sleep, Oh Sleep, the Certain Knot of Peace" by Sir Philip Sidney

    [ital. var.]

  10. Amoretti Sonnet LXVIII by Edmund Spenser

    [spens.]

    Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day
    Didst make thy triumph over death and sin

  11. Wild Peaches by Elinor Wylie
  12. Fourteen Sonnets by William Bowles
  13. Delia, a cycle of 60 sonnets by Samuel Daniel
  14. Holy Sonnets by John Donne
  15. Idea by Michael Drayton
  16. A Calendar of Sonnets by Helen Hunt Jackson
  17. Pictures of the Rhine by George Meredith
  18. The Complete Sonnets by William Shakespeare
  19. Astrophil and Stella by Sir Philip Sidney
  20. Amoretti by Edmund Spenser
  21. Sonnets: First Series by Frederick Goddard Tuckerman

The subject indexes are a wonderful way to browse Poets' Corner, leading you to works you might not find any other way. I hope also that they can help the site to seem less overwhelming than it might at first. If you have suggestions or comments about the Subject Indicies please contact Jon Lachelt.

The quotes from Carl Sandburg on the heading of some of the subject pages are from his book of poems, Good Morning America.

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