Invented Poetry Forms – The Sonnette

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like the monosyllabic sonnet which we recently discussed, today I will talk about another invented poetry form inspired by the traditional sonnet – the sonnette. Invented by the American poet, children’s author, museum curator, magician, and Boy Scout executive G. Sherman Ripley sometime in the early 1900s, the sonnette is basically a miniature or half sonnet consisting of seven lines (exactly half of the sonnet’s usual fourteen). It has two stanzas: a quatrain (4 lines) followed by a tercet (3 lines) with the quatrain having a rhyme scheme of abba. while the tercet has one of cbc. And just like its inspiration, the lines are metered, usually written in iambic pentameter.

As you can see, meter is definitely not my strong suit, but here is my own feeble attempt at a sonnette (for you to use as an example if you would like to try writing one yourself):

Ode to a Wannabe Baby Boomer Rocker

Once he dreamed of being the next Springsteen,
but he settled for a working man’s wage
and a once-a-week gig on a bar stage.
What seems like a dream is life in between

the hours he gets to strum guitar and sing
(he’s a remnant of the Rock and Roll age
in a time where Hip Hop and Rap’s now king).