Welcome to The Tangled Branch!  Join us.

Sonnet Form

Discussions, Rants & Resources
Post Reply
User avatar
Tracy Mitchell
Posts: 3481
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:58 pm

Sonnet Form

Post by Tracy Mitchell » Sat Feb 26, 2022 9:47 am

Questions & differing opinions arose on one of the PYP threads concerning the sonnet form.  This may be a good place to extend the discussion.

Perhaps by coincidence, this week's episode of the Poetry For All Podcast discusses a non-traditional sonnet entitled Frederick Douglass by Robert Hayden

[click on the link, then scroll down].

Large sections of the work are neither iambic, nor pentameter. The commentary discussion notes Hayden's applying some of the approaches of Gerard Manley Hopkins, as evidenced by the heavy troachic meter in extended passages.  The acceptance of this poem as a sonnet centers on the sonnet spirit, the declarative, and the turn.  The suggestion is that a sonnet is not a checkerboard with spaces to be filled with words, and certain words at that.  It is implicitly viewed as an organic poetic approach which has spiritual flexibility, and the ability to evolve.  It is a magnificent poem, and evidences an enlightened view of the evolving modern sonnet. 

Well worth listening and considering.  


Post Reply