Focus: Reacquainting yourself with the sonnet and improving your timed writing skills
2. A few helpful sonnet hints from your old friend, Foster ("If It's Square, It's a Sonnet")
The "miracle" of the sonnet:
"The miracle of the sonnet, you see, is that it is fourteen lines long and written almost always in iambic pentameter...most lines are going to have ten syllables and the others will be very close to ten." (Foster 23)
Two units of meaning:
"A sonnet, in fact, we might think of as having two units of meaning, closely related, to be sure, but with a shift of some sort taking place between them. Those two content units correspond closely to the two parts into which the form typically breaks...most of them have two parts,one of eight lines and one of six lines...A Shakespearean sonnet, on the other hand, tends to divide up by four: the first four lines (or quatrain), the next four, a third four, and the last four, which turn out to be only two (a couplet)." (Foster 24)
Remember the sentence:
"So the first question: how many sentences? Note that I'm not asking for lines, of which there are of course fourteen, but for sentences...Lines and stanzas are the necessities in poetry, but if the poem is any good, its basic unit of meaning is the sentence, just as in all other writing." (Foster 25-26)
3. Tuesday writing: Poetry
1. First book club meeting is tomorrow!
2. Start drafting your QUESTION AND BOOKLIST ONLY for your culminating essay; please e-mail it to me by Thursday of spring break.