Sonnet Poems

Sonnet Poems

Sonnet Examples

A sonnet is a poem that has 14 lines and follows a specific rhyme scheme. It comes from the Italian word that means “little song.” There are various types of sonnets, and each one is formatted a little differently, following various rhyme schemes. The three main types are the Italian (or Petrarchan) sonnet, the English (or Shakespearean) sonnet, and the Spenserian sonnet. They are named after the poets who made them famous. These forms have been around since the sixteenth century.

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11 Different Types of Sonnets

  1. 1. How Do I Love Thee?

    "How Do I Love Thee?" is one of the poems that make up the forty-four poems of Sonnets from the Portuguese. They were written while she was still courting her future husband, Mr. Browning, between 1845 and 1846. She writes that the love she has for him is everlasting and consumes every part of her.

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of being and ideal grace.
    I love thee to the level of every day's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love with a passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.

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    On August 25, 2017, the love of my life and I had been chatting while he shaved. I walked away, and I was gone 12 minutes. Sometime in those stupid 12 minutes he dropped to his knees and died...

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  3. 2. Acquainted With The Night

    “Acquainted With The Night” was published in 1928. It has themes of sadness and isolation. The narrator avoids contact with people and tries to escape his despair. The narrator doesn’t want to let anyone in, which continues his cycle of loneliness. Robert Frost himself was familiar with despair. At the time of writing this poem, he had already lost two children. Two more of his six children would pass away before him in later years. This poem includes symbols such as night (depression) and the moon (hope). It’s written as a “terza rima,” which is a poem made up of tercets (three-line stanzas). Within those stanzas, the ending word of the second line sets up the rhyme of the first and third lines of the next stanza.

    I have been one acquainted with the night.
    I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
    I have outwalked the furthest city light.

    I have looked down the saddest city lane.
    I have passed by the watchman on his beat
    And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

    I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
    When far away an interrupted cry
    Came over houses from another street,

    But not to call me back or say good-bye;
    And further still at an unearthly height,
    One luminary clock against the sky

    Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
    I have been one acquainted with the night

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    Each word of the poem is uttering its deep pain in the darkness of night. Highly weighted poem like any other poem of him. Only the one who has gone through this sea of sorrow can understand...

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  5. 3. I Wish I Could Remember That First Day

    I wish I could remember that first day,
        First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
        If bright or dim the season, it might be
    Summer or winter for aught I can say;
    So unrecorded did it slip away,
        So blind was I to see and to foresee,
        So dull to mark the budding of my tree
    That would not blossom yet for many a May.
    If only I could recollect it, such
        A day of days! I let it come and go
        As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
    It seem'd to mean so little, meant so much;
    If only now I could recall that touch,
        First touch of hand in hand--Did one but know!

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  6. 4. In The Shadow Of Your Warm Love

    In the shadow of your warm love
    I feel so safe and secure,
    And your soft, caring hands
    Urge me on to bravely endure.
    Your smiles soothe and ease the pain
    Of another dark and lonely day;
    The rainbow appears amid the rain,
    My sorrow as quickly melts away.
    A reassuring glow within your eyes
    Tells me that you understand
    The complicated ways of my sighs
    Born of thoughts truly grand.
    I continue to look upon your face
    And gain a calm heart, my sweet solace.

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  7. 5. Stay Or Go?

    • By GA Thompson
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems March 2016

    My name is Abigail. I'm 13 years old. I hope my age doesn't keep you from reading. This is just one of the many poems I've written. I know that at such a young age there is so much I don't know about the world. First of all, I've had to grow up much faster than anyone I know due to family circumstances. Second, that's the beauty. I don't know everything about the world. But I want to find out. This sonnet could have many meanings. What does it mean to you?

    The days go by, then a month, then a year,
    and still through the days I see not a change.
    No matter what happens, you still aren't here,
    and how you just disappeared is what's strange.

    No explanation, no warning, just gone.
    I wish I had just some of your courage
    to go leave one rainy morning at dawn,
    to leave one day without any message.

    How I long for somewhere to be renewed
    or to just disappear, just not to be,
    not to see, not to feel, not to hear you,
    the ghost that you are, which I long to be.

    But as many days that I want to go,
    there are more that I want to stay and know.

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    I love this poem, and like you, I had to grow up at a young age. A sick parent, being bullied and just life in general. To me this poem expresses the inner struggles with myself; knowing that...

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  8. 6. When I Have Fears

    In this poem, John Keats (1795-1821) shares the fear of dying before accomplishing all he set out to do or finding the love he desires. We all have different things we want to achieve in life, and we don’t know how much time we will have to do them. Keats and his parents all died at a young age. Even though John Keats died at the age of 25, he had an incredible poetry career.

    When I have fears that I may cease to be
       Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
    Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
       Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
    When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
       Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
    And think that I may never live to trace
       Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
    And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
       That I shall never look upon thee more,
    Never have relish in the faery power
       Of unreflecting love—then on the shore
    Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
    Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

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    My brief thoughts on what I believe makes this poem a Classic. We all want to make and leave a mark in life. We all have anxiety. I want to fear not life or death but take the chance called...

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  9. 7. Candy Corn

    • By Jan R
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems December 2014

    One Halloween, I was inspired to write a sonnet about candy corn while I was studying Shakespeare. There is something so simple about the confection, yet it possesses complex symbolism. In case a reader does not catch it, I will explain! The sonnet as a whole explains the colors of candy corn: white, orange, and yellow. Each stanza then focuses on one color and lists examples of how that color applies to the subject of Halloween!

    Against the black void, looms the lunar sphere.
    Hungry ghosts haunt, satisfied by fright.
    Oh my! The children's faces blanch in fear.
    And thus the small summit embodies white.

    Dwindle do the autumn leaves to the ground.
    From the fire, the cold meets its warm demise.
    Halloween's favorite gourd, carved and round
    And thus the middle is where orange lies.

    Farms and tractor-pulled rides, hay is handy.
    The black cat's eerie eyes gleam from its face.
    The vegetable tastes not like the candy.
    And thus concludes yellow to form the base.

    White, orange, and yellow make something sweet.
    Enjoy some candy corn, Halloween's treat!

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  10. 8. My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun

    Poem about an ordinary relationship between lovers that is extraordinary. This poem is written in the form of a sonnet, which is a 14 line rhyming poem that has its origins in Italy. This poem makes fun of passionate love poetry in which the poet imagines that their lover is more spectacular than anything in the universe. Instead, the poet maintains that his relationship with his lover is as unique and magnificent as any other although his lover is an ordinary woman.

    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.

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    How absolutely lovely! The way the poem 'shows' more than tells is magnificent; this is an art unto itself!

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  11. 9. Autumn Storm By Firelight

    I originally wrote this as an assignment in a creative writing class. Write a sonnet in the Shakespearean form of iambic pentameter.

    A flash of lightning streaks across the sky.
    We huddle close beneath the trembling eaves
    As thunder roars a nightmare lullaby
    And strips the trees outside of summer leaves.

    The fire is warm. Its light is warmer still.
    A gentle beacon holding back the dark.
    Yet, in the light of day, we know we will
    Deny the fearful pounding of our hearts.

    The ancient wonder once again is near.
    The fury of the storm awakes our past.
    When gods and nature both were to be feared
    And spells of warding were by fire cast.

    An autumn storm returns us to that place
    When nature's glory awed the human race.

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    Hi! English teacher here... I have it included in class lessons! I love the imagery of the poem, and it's a sonnet my students can understand!

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  12. 10. There's No Obscurity

    • By Astrid Sardinas
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2009

    The poem, "There's No Obscurity," is a Shakespearean-style sonnet and was inspired by various romantic novels that I was reading at the time. It describes a type of love only witnessed as a princess in a fairy tale, yet also portrays realistic emotions, such as doubt. In the end, the message is that the love she has for him is more real to her than any possibility of loss.

    As I gaze into his liquid gold eyes,
    Poetry radiates from his warm soul
    His lips brush mine and I soar through the skies
    Passion seizes me; I loose my control

    An amalgam of thoughts pierce through my mind
    There is love, trust, yet I feel petrified
    I know destiny; our fate's intertwined
    But what if he's a dream, one I'm denied?

    A thousand years I could spend with those suns
    Amid his presence I've conquered all realms
    I've witnessed beauty that forever stuns
    And have basked beneath his forest of elms

         Then and there, I grasp truth with clarity
         He's in my arms; there's no obscurity

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  13. 11. Halloween Sonnet

    • By Paul Cleere
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems December 2014

    Poem about a typical Halloween. A Shakespearian Sonnet about none other than Halloween.

    When leaves start turning orange and golden-brown,
    Kids start to dress in costumes so dandy.
    For one day a year, all throughout the town
    It's time for kids to amass some candy.

    Every fun boy and girl shall don the mask,
    and with happiness, shall knock on the door.
    They all know what question they are to ask
    Trick or Treat? I want candy! Give me more!

    Up in the sky, with the orange moon so full,
    A witch is joined by her fuzzy black cats.
    A scarecrow is leaning against a pole.
    The silence is broken by shrieking bats.

    Halloween is not always full of fright,
    for anyone can be a kid that night.

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