Sonnet beginnings


I began writing sonnets because of a high school creative writing class assignment. We could choose between the English sonnet or the Italian sonnet. I didn’t like the way the English sonnet ended in a rhyming couplet. It sounded too rhymey. So I took on the task of creating an Italian sonnet.

It seemed very difficult. A certain number of syllables (10, which is pentameter) with a certain kind of inflection (iambic, which I have to admit I usually don’t pay attention to). A rhyme scheme of  ABBAABBACDECDE. But there’s something very satisfying about being able to use all those rules and come up with a poem.

If you haven’t already, I urge you to try it. But here’s a tip. Start thinking of the end when you start the first CDE section, because before you know it, you will have run out of the number of syllables you’re allowed to use. Happy writing!


About Judith L. Roth

When I was about ten, it occurred to me that books are written by people and I was a person. I could create my favorite things–I could write books! I got a B.A. in English. My first poem was accepted for publication before I graduated. I had some success with poetry, but my real dream was to write fiction for children. My first fiction piece was accepted about 25 years after the first submission. Things you might want to know about me: I know how to persevere. I’m a third-generation California native, living in Indiana. I have two remarkable sons who are now young men,and a husband who’s supported my writing for over three decades. I love cats and currently have three of them. I love being near water–oceans, lakes, rivers all work for me. Chocolate is probably my biggest downfall. I’m exceptionally curious. (Or nosy, as my family calls it.)

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