French Sonnet

Historically, the French sonnet appears sometime after the Italian sonnet
and was likely the inspiration for the English sonnet form.
It uses fourteen lines of Alexandrine meter (iambic hexameter),
six iambs, twelve syllables per line)

Like the Italian and the English it has an octave comprising two quatrains,
but unlike the Italian and like the English it has a sestet of a couplet and a quatrain.
It is possible that the English sonnet was derived from the French not the Italian.

The difference being that the English grouped the Quatrains together
and turned (Volta) with a couplet the last two lines,
but the French turned with the sestet and used the quatrain to close.

The form has exactly the same quatrain as the Petrarch – a.b.b.a…a.b.b.a.
The sestet begins with a couplet – c.c., but like the Italian sestet, we have a choice of quatrains to play with. – d. e. e. d.
or more French, – d. c. c. d.
or more English – d. e. d. e

abba abba ccdeed
abba abba ccdccd
abba abba ccdede

Example Poem:

Tell Me of Your Anger in Whispers (French Sonnet)

Should you be moved at times to speak in anger, dear,
I only ask that first you test your words alone.
Because if anger stems from blunders of my own
I’m sure you’ll want to be assured your meaning’s clear.

Remember words once thrown will travel like a spear
and meanings take on color weighed much by tone.
So package words with giggles not with growl or groan
and then the thoughts that form those words might disappear.
Delay those words, re-think, and then reformulate.
and later will be your time to pontificate.

I stumble much to often; you are usually right.
Is it really essential now that blame be found,
or can our words proceed toward a common ground?
My dear, use whispers closely to me late at night.

Visual Template

Flying Bird Sonnet

Flying Bird Sonnet – aaaa bbccbb aaaa

Found only the rhyme pattern,no other specifications so am assuming
Iambic Pentameter template below.

Volta at line 11

Example Poem:

The Bird Feeder (Flying Bird Sonnet)
Assorted little song birds came to eat
near my own vision-shielded inside seat.
I have a window feeder where they meet
to peck and forage gaily while they tweet.
I fill the feeder every other day,
they reward me with melody and play.
I am uplifted, by their vivid hues
their community and the songs they choose.
From time to time a hawk will disrupt things,
and strike and kill some tiny bird that sings.
For days after, the little birds retreat.
I know that natures cycle musts complete;
there’s majesty in cycles that repeat,
but for those days I do not think it sweet.
© Larry Eberhart, aka Lawrencealot, Oct 12, 2012
Visual Template:

Pushkin Sonnet

This was the most difficult form to research.  Most sites have the information wrong or incomplete. I am going to post what I have determined is the most likely true and accurate information available, and post links to those sites allowing me to draw that conclusion.  My template below shows the most currently used form first, followed by the REAL Puskin Sonnet specifications.  Note the REQUIREMENT for feminine rhyme.  Usually ignored.

rhyming pattern: abab ccdd eff egg,  (Where red letters are feminine rhyme)

Visual Template:

The Pushkin or Onegin sonnet has a fascinating and flexible
profluence, which makes it suitable for the kind of modern
narrative use that Pushkin (and more recently Vikram Seth)
put it too. As someone with an interest in narrative poetry
I’ve been meaning to learn the form for a while, and this
experiment is a foray in that direction.

I think it illustrates nicely the role of the four-foot
iambic line over the five-foot line used in Petrarchan
and Shakespearean sonnets. The shorter line is bouncier,
tighter and generally draws the reader forward in ways
that the naturally punctuated pentameter does not.
The five-foot line is complete, and requires the reader
to push on over it.
The four-foot line leaves the breath wanting more.


This form was described as a “mettlesome creature” and A.D.P Briggs in his introduction to Evgeny Oneginstates that Pushkin invented a sonnet form which can go either way becoming Italian or English at the flick of a switch in mid stanza.

The Octave rhymes – a. b.a. b…..c.c. d.d…..

(Note) The first quatrain uses an alternating rhyme, and the second one, two couplets.

The sestet is where the change occurs and also expands the form. The original Pushkin sestet was either two tercets e.f.f…. e.g.g. and here you can see the Italian influence,

Below are the poems used in the template.

Pentameter (non-standard):

This formulaic stanza has some power
despite its tendency to come and go,
yielding up a soft and scented flower
with sufficient patience: watch it grow
into a bloom of rich diversity
without engaging in perversity.
It varies in division, oft askance
like some exotic cell’s mitotic dance
around the mysteries of generation
it splits into uneven halves or more,
a clash of fragments, three or even four,
that form into a long and bold narration.
Yet in the end it’s form that sets us free
to discipline our thoughts and clearly see.

Tetrameter (standard):

This formulaic stanza’s power
although it tends to come and go,
will yield a soft and scented flower;
with patience you can watch it grow
into a bloom: diversity
in absence of perversity.
It divides so oft  askance,
a single cell’s mitotic dance
in mysteries of generation
of two uneven halves or more,
a clash of fragments, three or four,
that form into a bold narration.
Yet by its form we are set free
to use our mind to clearly see.


Arabian Sonnet

A quatorzain made up of 2 quatrains + 2 tercets.
metric, iambic pentameter.
rhymed, aaaa bbbb ccc ddd.
Volta on the 9th line.

Sample Poem:

Tell Me of Your Anger in Whispers (Arabian Sonnet)

A silence is most fine thing when irate.
It’s wise of you my dear, therefore, to wait,
re-think the message goal and contemplate
how goals are reached when embraced by your mate.

If my own blunder may have made you mad
a defensive re tort might well be bad
when thoughtful comment ought to now be had.
Let’s frame discussion so to make you glad.

Perhaps, the words should simply disappear.
Unleashed, harsh words will travel like a spear.
Use calm and dulcet tones I love to hear.

We want to solve a problem, not to fight.
My love, use whispers closely late tonight.
I love you dearly; I will make it right.

© Larry Eberhart, aka Lawrencealot

Visual Template