Monday, March 24, 2014

Poetry Month SALE,FREE NOTES on Sonnet HISTORY& Types! by PerfettoWritingRoom(c)

You'll love this Spring-into-writing sale. It's our Once-a-Year ONLY, Best-Ever Deal.

April is Poetry Month. It is also the start of spring, the wending down of the year, and the time you most need to keep students engaged. If you need any writing materials, for yourself or your students... Whatever you buy March 27, 28, and 29, you can get up to the same amount in FREE merchandise. 


1. purchase at The PerfettoWritingRoom Store  March 27, 28, 29
2.Then contact us at, and tell us:
 your buyer name, what you bought, AND, what you would like for free!
3. If the items you want are up to or equal in value to your purchased items 
we will send the items to you for immediate download, free
- this is up to a 50% savings overall!!!!

Now that the great news is out of the bag. . .

Here is a question . . . just how many sonnets are there?

Well, this is a troubling topic.
Most folks say two.
I say three.
But then so many people play with form and rhyme scheme, that now it has become rather difficult to actually clarify and teach to students without oversimplifying the matter. Is is fair to oversimplify?

Here are some FACTS: 
1. The "invention" of the sonnet form is credited to Giacomo da Lentini. He lived in the 1300th century. Da Lentini wrote almost 250 sonnets. 

2. Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) was a famous sonnet writer, and a man not only famous for writing the Inferno


    But then there is Petrarch....

3. Francesco Petrarca, better known as Petrarch to the British, elevated the form, using the conventions of courtly love.
4. Petrarch's influence was so strong that the sonnet form is known as the Italian or Petrarchan sonnet, and his reliance on traditional courtly love is now known as the Petrarchan conventions.

The Sonnet Comes to England!!!

                                                      Henry Howard, The Earl of Surrey


                                                                   Sir Thomas Wyatt

5. Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard Earl of Surrey are credited with introducing the sonnet to England during the 16th century (1500s). It grew quite popular.

6.  During this time, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney and his niece Mary Wroth were among the many writers who championed the sonnet form.

7. Wyatt and Howard adjusted the rhyme scheme to account for the differences in the language.

8. The greatest writer of all was William Shakespeare. He wrote over 150 poems, none of them repeating. While he observed the Petrarchan conventions, he pushed against them in his "Fair Youth" and "Dark Lady" sonnet, changing the rules and expanding what a sonnet could be about, for ALL writers present and future. 

The Bard Himself
So How Many Types of Sonnets ARE THERE?
 Not an Easy Question. . . 
9. There is the Italian or Petrarchan sonnet
10. The English or Shakespearean sonnet  
11 The Spenserian sonnet, which is a variation on the Shakespearean sonnet
12. I have learned recently that there are MULTIPLE versions of sonnets, reaching far back, and extending into the present. From the Occitan and Urdu sonnets which I never learned about in school, Dante's version, which a friend of mine just told me about (wonders never cease!), to simple varieties in the standard meter or sonnet sequences as were done by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, it can be challenging to tackle the topic or form or structure in the classroom.
       My advice? Start with history, and Shakespeare is so wonderful, so timeless, that you can never go wrong with studying his work, or by looking at some modern versions and comparing them.
      All of the versions may be discussed in a class environment in a cursory way for enrichment purposes without detracting from your main purpose.It is up to you what that purpose is - whether it be to teach one specific type of sonnet, read for enjoyment, label the parts, or have students write their own version, as long as you and your students grow to appreciate the's all good stuff. 

If anyone wants to start a conversation, add a sonnet type, write a sonnet below...(oh come on you know you want to), or ask a question....DO IT!

Next Post - The Petrarchan conventions, and MORE!

Until then, keep writing, learning, and living well,
Gina @ The PerfettoWritingRoom                            

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