A Sonnet is a poem of an expressive thought or idea made up of 14 lines, each being 10 syllables long. Its rhymes are arranged according to one of the schemes – Italian, where eight lines called an octave consisting of two quatrains which normally open the poem as the question are followed by six lines called a sestet that are the answer, or the more common English which is three quatrains followed by a rhyming couplet.
I have been feeling rather philosophical about rules. I tend to think of them as the frame work on which we create our artwork, but lately I have been thinking of them more in terms of creating a Sonnet. You have a set of rules that must be followed or it is not a Sonnet. Within the structure of those rules, you have absolute freedom to do what you will, and it is still a sonnet. Others will either like or dislike it, but all know it to be a Sonnet. When you do not follow the rules, it can still be a poem, but it is not a Sonnet.
I have been feeling lately like I was told that we are all here to write Sonnets. I was made to learn the rules, and when I tried to bend or push them, I was told no. We only allow Sonnets. Now, I find that I am still feeling constrained to write Sonnets, while others get to write Haiku and other still get to write freeform verse with no rules at all.
There is a bit of frustration that comes when it get hard to write a Sonnet, when you see how easy it is to write a haiku in comparison, and people tell you to ignore those writing free form as no one respects them anyway. Yet, there they are shouting free form verse as you are quietly trying to write your Sonnet.
I have been trying to be more accepting of the fact that perhaps we are all writing poetry. However, when we are creating a group piece, and three people are writing Haiku, someone else is doing only rhyming couplets, and our loner shouting their free form verse, It makes it impossible for me to do what I set out to do, write a Sonnet.
Why is it that they have to be allowed to write their poetry because otherwise they will not have fun? Why is their fun more important than my ability to have fun?