Saraband Sonnet – English Style

tercet + quatrain + tercet + quatrain
Four stanzas
Volta at Line 8

Stanza 1 a tercet, rhyme axa or aaa

Stanza 2 a quatrain, any quatrain form or rhyme
The stanza forms may be mixed
 Note: My labels and template do NOT consider any form mixing.

  • English: abab or abcb
  • Italian: baab
  • Spanish: bcbc
  • French: bbcc

Stanza 3 a tercet, same tercet form as stanza 1
a sonnet with a French tercet requires
line 2 of both tercets to rhyme.

Stanza 4 a quatrain, any quatrain form and rhyme

  • Any metrical foot
  • Any metrical line
  • Some authorities insist on eight syllables but this is not cut and dried

Rhyme scheme: depends on the form chosen.
The volta the first line of the second tercet.

Example Poem:

I have no Example Poem yet, Please Feel Free to send me one.

aaaababaaaabab, aaaababaaaabcb, axaababaxaabab, axaababaxaabcb, aaaabcbaaaabab, aaaabcbaaaabcb, axaabcbaxaabab, axaabcbaxaabcb

Visual Template:  (Early on I found the spelling showne below, but have intentionally chose to opt for the more commonly found “Saraband”.

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.


Channing’s Sonnet

The distinctive feature of the sonnets of 
William Ellery Channing (1818–1901) 
seem merely to be that he uses an octave plus two tercets.
I have found multiple rhyme patterns, here is template showing two.

Rhyme patterns: abbaabba cde cde or abbaacca dee dff

Example poem:

Tell Me of Your Anger in Whispers (Channing Sonnet)

Should you be moved to speak in anger dear 

I ask that first you test your words alone. 
If anger stems from blunder of my own 
You’ll want to be assured your meaning’s clear. 
Harsh words once thrown will travel like a spear. 
Is it essential now that blame be found; 
will such proceed toward a common ground? 
The thoughts that form those words might disappear. 

So hold those words for later; don’t despair 

for now. Wait ’til your anger can abate. 
There’s nothing risked delaying words that grate. 

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

My love, use whispers closely late tonight. 
I love you, honey; I will make it right. 

Visual Template:


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