AC’s Shakespearian Sonnet Recipe

When I think of a sonnet I think of Mr W Shakespeare in his Elizabethan universe. My preferences may be biased by my English-ness. However, it is worth noting that the Shakespearian Sonnet is one of many forms and can trace it origins to Italia.(

A Shakespearian Sonnet can generally be thought of as an expression of a single complete thought written in 14 lines of iambic pentameter adhering to a set rhyme scheme.


– an idea

– a metaphor

– dedication to iambic pentameter (iamb being an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable e.g today and pentameter meaning five feet or repeating the ‘iamb’ five times).

– a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg


1. Brainstorm ideas and metaphors

I wanted to write a poem for my mum and she reminds me of my brown bear.

2. In the first quatrain introduce main theme and metaphor:

Brown bear, you were there before I could walk

Before I could laugh, before I could dream;

Brown bear, you were there before I could talk

Before I could cry; before I could scream.

3. In the second quatrain; elaborate and provide examples:

My life story is intertwined with yours

we unearthed the world one step at a time

we climbed hills and walked across the moors

our corner of the world was so sublime.

4. The third quatrain represents the turning point or realisation:

Seasons have turned and I’ve grown like a tree

I’ve flown the nest; I work in the city;

But here you are… Still watching over me

just how nature intended it to be.

5. Summarise or conclude thoughts or as in this case expose the metaphor:

There is just one thing I would like to say;

thank you mother, for being there, always.

Give it a whirl and let me know how you go… 

To see the completed version of this sonnet in full please click here and more of my sonnets


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