on Sonnets

Sonnets are yet another form of poem. Sonnets are known to have 14 lines along with a specific rhyme pattern. Shakespeare is especially known for his sonnets. As assigned in class, I have reviewed two sonnets, one of them written by Shakespeare. The other, however, is written by Berrigan. The difference between the two is immense. First off, the language. Shakespeare uses, well, Shakespearean style english. Berrigan, however, uses modern english. Berrigan uses things such as ’Honeybunch’s’ and ‘Red Lobster’. The entire style is different. Again, there’s Shakespeare style and a modern style. Berrigan writes as if he is writing a poem to his best bro. ‘My Twinkie has as much sex appeal for me as any lanky model or platinum movie idol who’s hyped beyond belief’. Both sonnets are speaking of women but Shakespeare does it in more of an ambiguous way. We must interpret what Shakespeare is saying which, to me, makes it more of a poem.

A sonnet is a poem written in iambic pentameter, has fourteen lines, and uses the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Sonnets can be broken up into four quatrains; the first to introduce the subject, the second to show the theme, the third to finish the theme, and the fourth to conclude the sonnet. Berrigan and Shakespeare are similar because they both use the sonnet form and they both write about love. Their vocabulary is very different. Berrigan is much easier to understand than Shakespeare. Shakespeare uses a bigger vocabulary and the language is much older.

After I had read most of the sonnets by William Shakespeare and Ted Berigan, I actually looked up the definition of a sonnet to learn that it is just a poem with no formal rhyme schemes and 14 lines in total to complete the poem although, Ted berigan only uses 12 lines for his sonnets. I learned that a sonnet doesn’t have to be about a specific thing or person, it can be as scrambled and mysterious as you want it to be. One interesting thing that really caught my attention about sonnets is that they have about 10 syllables per line. Another thing I noticed in especially Shakespeare’s poems is that the format of his sonnets are written the same, as in every line starting with a capital letter and such. The sonnets written by Shakespeare were written with more descriptive words than as in Ted Berrigan’s sonnets, having less wondering minds by having more explanation to his lines. Berrigan’s sonnet’s also talk more about women, weather, and scenery than the love, beauty and life that Shakespeare speaks. The language that Shaespear speaks Is very old English style, many different word choices such as Thy and Thou. They do have some similarities between their sonnets too like in berrigan’s “Dim lady” sonnet he chooses a different artistic approach that was very similar to Shakephere’s “130” sonnet. He started with the same approach but switched it up and made I to what it almost seemed to be a mockery of shakespeare . ( Not cool)

I learned many things from my research on sonnets in poems. One of the things that I’ve learned was that it has fourteen lines as a stanza. It is usually in a form of a rhyme with ten syllables per line. The similarities that I’ve spotted was that both of the authors did use their fourteen lines. They also seemed to talked about relationships that their characters developed in their story or plays. There were some difference between the two authors as well. One example, was the way they wrote their sonnets, the form. On one of Shakespeare’s poem, he color coded his poem. There were more differences in their poems.

For example, as I read Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, I saw that he actually rhymed. When I saw Sonnet by Berrigan, I didn’t visually see the rhymes. His tone in his poems spoke to me, like somebody build their love. Also, Shakespeare was talking about romance from Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet already knew each other and they were going off based off their feelings. While Berrigan seemed like his story was talking as if the characters were getting to know each other, in order to build their relationship. So the tone that I’ve got from this man was that his characters were trying to find their way to romance.

I’ll start with what I learned doing my own research about sonnets. When looking up what sonnets were, the only thing I knew was that they were a type of poem and that Shakespeare wrote them. Upon further reading, I figured out that the most well known rules of form of writing a sonnet consists of 14 lines, 10 syllables in each line, every other line rhyming, and the last two lines rhyming. I have read some sonnets before, but I never realized that there was a specific structure to them. As far as the history of sonnets go, I found that they originated in Italy and were invented by a man named Giacomo Da Lentini. Further, I learned that the word “sonnet” is derived from the Italian word “sonetto” meaning “little poem” (Wikipedia).

When reading the sonnets written by Shakespeare, I noticed that his poems seemed to hold true to the form of a sonnet. For example, his poems always had 14 lines, 10 syllables, and every other word rhymed. I found Shakespeare’s poems to consist of a lot of tricky words that I didn’t know the definitions of, but upon looking them up the meanings behind his poetry seemed to make more sense. What I liked about the Shakespeare poems was that there was variety in the feelings they portrayed. Some I felt were dark, while others, like sonnet 130, I found to be very humorous.

Berrigan’s sonnets on the other hand seemed to stray slightly from the true sonnet form. His sonnets consisted of 14 lines but didn’t seem to contain any rhyming or stick to the 10 syllables rule. So perhaps the rules of writing sonnets aren’t as strict as I read. His sonnets contained more common vocabulary, but I found his sonnets more difficult to understand. I did like the first sonnet that he wrote though. The way he jumbled up the lines made figuring out his poem sort of fun. I liked trying to unjumble and match up the lines.

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