this is a tool that helps you write poems·
=octave + sestet
the octave is the first 8 lines of a petrarchan sonnet.
the first quatrain sets up a topic, problem, or conflict, with a rhyme pattern of ABBA. italian petrarchan sonnets are traditionally hendecasyllabic (11 syllables), but english sonnets tend to be in iambic pentameter.
set up the problem of the sonnet here
expound upon it in this second line
continue and rhyme with the second line
now rhyme with line one with more conflict here
the second quatrain provides more information on the topic or conflict, continuing the ABBA rhyme scheme from the first stanza.
continue with the rhyme of quatrain one
expanding on the conflict set up there
keep giving information (if you dare)
you will find soon enough — sonnets are fun
the sestet is the remaining 6 lines of a petrarchan sonnet.
the sonnet expresses a change or resolution to the conflict set up in the octave, and varies a bit in rhyme scheme. most traditional are CDECDE & CDCCDC, though variations on these are common. the sample text follows a CDECDE pattern, but you are not constrained to this.
line six is called the volta, for it turns
the conflict from the octave on its head
or else it gives an insight that was missed
whatever were the first eight lines' concerns
with time (or in this sestet) can be shed
i hope this little verse guide will assist
= 3 quatrains + 1 couplet
the first quatrain introduces the topic, problem, or conflict in a rhyming ABAB pattern, traditionally in iambic pentameter.
beginning on the first line is the way
to open up your topic in line one
and once you figure out what you will say
the first quatrain of this sonnet is done
the second quatrain provides more information on the topic or problem, with a rhyme scheme of CDCD.
you give more info here in quatrain two
with that a new rhyme alternation starts
continuing your theme is what to do
think deeply on what each new word imparts
the third quatrain approaches the topic or conflict in a new way or moves toward a solution to the problem, with the rhyme scheme of EFEF.
you bring a new perspective in part three
from which your theme or conflict can be viewed
perhaps a resolution there can be
so that your lovely sonnet can conclude
the rhyming couplet (GG) at the end provides a thematic resolution to the topic.
with luck your coda couplet will define
a more cohesive sonnet than did mine