SHAKESPEARIAN SONNET 101
by Paul Adrian Fried (USA)
Iambic feet are weak at first, then strong —
a gentle peck, and then a deeper kiss.
Pentameter’s a line that’s five feet long,
so iambs in pentameter, like this,
can help to make a sonnet’s rhythm soar.
Now quatrains — those are four-line sets, you see,
and Shakespeare often rhymed lines two and four
in each quatrain — and also one and three.
In quatrain one, the poem begins its way.
In two, it still unwinds and roams about.
In three, a twist or turn comes into play,
and then the final couplet. Have no doubt:
The sonnet, like a ballroom floor, can be
a form where words go leaping, dancing free.