Sicilian Sonnet

The defining features of the Sicilian Sonnet are:
• a quatorzain, made up of an octave followed by a sestet.
• metric, in English, written in iambic pentameter.
• composed with the octave presenting an idea, problem or question, followed by a sestet finding the solution or resolution. The word “sestet” originally was reserved for the sonnet or other forms in which the group of 6 lines attempts to distinguish itself from other line groups such as the octave of the sonnet. This is in contrast to the words sixain or sexain which are 6 line stanzas usually written in conjunction with other sixains or sexains as in the Sestina.
• rhymed using only 4 rhymes. The difference between Sicilian and Italian is in the rhyme scheme. The octave made up of 2 quatrains alternates rhyme abababab. The sestet made up of 2 tercets with alternate rhyme cdcdcd. 

Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

There are three basic Italian Sonnet Forms; 
1. Italian.
2. Sicilian and
3. Sonetto Rispetto.
The difference is in the octave. The octave is constructed of two quatrains.
1. The Italian has a rhyming scheme of, a.b.b.a….a.b.b.a.
2. The Sicilian has a rhyming scheme of, a.b.b.a….c.d.d.c.
3. The Sonetto Rispetto uses uses either sestet with the Ottava Rima Octave which is very different from the two previous forms and has a rhyming scheme of a.b.a.b.a.b.c.c.
Each of these forms can also have a choice of two sestets, Italian and Sicilian:
1. The Italian sestet consists of two tercets (of 3 lines) with the rhyme scheme.. .1.2.3….1.2.3. 
2. The Sicilian Sestet, has a rhyme scheme of .

Pasted from
My thanks as always to the active group at thepoetsgarret

FORM : Re-stated
* Sicilian form of the Italian Sonnet – 14 lines
* divided into 1 octave and a sestet
* volta (pivot) in line 9
* written in iambic pentameter
* rhyme scheme abab abab cdc cdc
                         or abab abab cde cde

Example Poem:

Tell Me of Your Anger in Whispers       (Sicilian Sonnet)


Should you be moved to speak in anger dear,

I ask that first you test your words alone.

If I have blundered then I will want to hear

but will not gain from harshness in your tone.

Such words once thrown will travel like a spear

We’ve both before said words we can’t disown.

You’ll want to make sure that your meaning’s clear;

an err unsaid leaves nothing to atone.


So hold those words for later; don’t despair,

there’s nothing risked delaying words that grate.

My love, use whispers closely late tonight.

I’ll listen to your words- you know I’m fair.

So love, allow your anger to abate.

I love you dearly; I will make it right.


© Lawrencealot – June 21, 2013


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