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We’ve been studying poetry and I asked the students to try and write sonnets: 14 lines in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme. Here are two examples that we liked a lot. The first is a Petrarchan (or Italian) sonnet and the second is a Shakespearean (or English) sonnet.

Sonnet: A Flower Pot
by Clara Brandt
A flower pot is such a strange design,
As though a flower could by means be kept.
Its roots will grow til up the sides it’s crept,
Defying any who might call it “mine”.

It’s human nature designating lines,
Across which we proclaim no one shall step.
But soon, as all our bluster proves inept,
The flowers, small and steady, reach the sky.

As soon as one decides what can’t be done,
Proclaiming using strong authority,
It’s seconds at most until there’s one
Who shall refuse submissive harmony.
Yet as each old clay pot, now cracked, is flung,
Another’s thrown upon the potter’s wheel.

Lyfe, Spelled with a “Y” Because I Am Edgy: A Sonnet”
by Cade Giordano
My black backpack is much too big sometimes,
It is the right size for a bouquiniste.
I have a new bike. I’ve fallen two times
Yesterday when I was biking up east.

Within my backpack, the tools to fix it.
Maybe its huge size is not a problem.
During the ride home the road was moonlit
My new bike was fine but I felt solemn.

I got home, the dishes were in the sink.
Oh well, I will get to that tomorrow.
The night, horrible! No– I must rethink
The night, a painting by Vincent Van Gogh.

I bike during the day. I think at night.
Should I bike at dusk and bring a flashlight?