Whittled Words – English Sonnet


Welcome to the weekly series, Whittled Words. A series highlighting the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith. If you are new to writing poetry, I hope you will find something that sparks your pen to paper and brings out your own inner poet. For the seasoned poets, I hope you will take on the challenge of writing in forms you may not be familiar with. This week’s selection:




A sonnet is a 14-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme. Each type of sonnet follows a different rhyming scheme. The form is used in other variations which we will highlight later in the series. For the English sonnet, the form is as follows:

  • 14-line poem
  • 3 quatrains (4-line stanzas) followed by 1 couplet (2 line stanza)
  • Rhyming scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG


Examples of English (Shakespearean) Sonnet:


All We Will Be

By Tynea Lewis

He sits, paying no attention to me.
I wonder what is going through his head.
It hurts knowing friends is all we will be.
His unexpected glace turns my face red.

His mud brown eyes are so piercing and deep.
Then a smile fills his flawless, tanned face.
If only into his heart I could creep.
The slow motion moment makes my heart race.

Our time together is a dream come true
But I fear he can see into my heart.
When I am with him, I don’t feel so blue,
But something new won’t be able to start.

Since nothing will be, onward I must go.
These feelings I have to hide and not show.



by Brad Osborne

How can it be, country vanished

Bombed into a city of dead

Fear feasts on the famished

Our only homes must be fled

Family torn deep as the land

Pack mule mother in the street

Holding her dirty child’s hand

Dust covers their unshod feet

What hell be left for they to face

How could it be anything less

Then the agony of this place

Where war has made this mess

Knowing not what may lie ahead

They shuffle off filled with dread


I hope you have enjoyed the first of this series, Whittled Words. I look forward to your comments, and if you dare, maybe share your own English sonnet. Thanks for reading!


13 Responses to “Whittled Words – English Sonnet”
  1. beth says:

    oh, so sad and doomed –

  2. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    Certainly one of the most beautiful forms of poetry! Magnificent Brad!

  3. Jim Borden says:

    a touching example of a classic style…

  4. petespringerauthor says:

    Two beauties! As always, your poetry is great. I can feel Tynea’s pain in the line, “It hurts knowing friends is all we will be.”

  5. jonicaggiano says:

    This is so beautifully written Brad. Such lovely form the Sonnet.
    Yours is tragic and very visual.

    “Pack mule mother in the street
    Holding her dirty child’s hand
    Dust covers their unshod feet
    What hell be left for they to face”

    Such tragedy war. Sending my love, Jonikins

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