Kim Addonizio invented this form of the sonnet, calling it a sonnenizio. What you do is take a line—any line—from someone else’s sonnet and use it as the first line of your sonnenizio. You then repeat one word from that first line in each of the subsequent 13 lines. You end the poem with a rhyming couplet. 

In this sonnenizio of mine (which is a good two years old), I’ve taken a line from John Berryman’s second “Sonnet to Chris” and repeated the word “turn” in each line. I changed it up a bit, as you’ll see with “external,” “taciturn,” “turnstiles,” etc. I almost called this poem “Turnips and Tangerines,” but eventually realized that leaving it untitled would be better than calling it that. 

[As nude upon some warm lawn softly turn] 

As nude upon some warm lawn softly turn 
Your external gaze at the avalanche crackling 
Down the taciturn house. All bear the drag 
Of newly-polished turnstiles, so fearful 
Of the internment that tingling brings. “An 
Upturn in sales should mark the new calendar 
Year, but the public should beware the return, 
In April,” of easy nocturnes, lazy ears, 
Listening to nothing but Saturnian odes, or else 
Some stern warning about wasting your life. 
Consider me a turncoat if you will, but I know 
Where my loyalty lies. The turnverein is filling, 
Friend, with tiny-breasted women: advise my attorney 
Of our hasty plans to indict true love for eternity.

Pasted from <
My thanks to Michael Schiavo


Sonnenizio on a Line from Wendy Cope
I had this bird called Sharon. Fond of gin—
it could do the Gingerbread Man in different voices.
After a couple of gin slings, it could out-dance
Ginger Rogers from its perch. I played the harmonica
badly. Behind the scenes. Like noise from cotton gin
ruining the sunrise. I drank gin rickey until
I became a sore virgin, the losing end of a speech
impediment, gingivitis. It made me clean its cage
in my original D&G bathrobe and plastic clogs.
There, myna droppings juxtaposed gingersnaps.
The smell fizzed gin and tonic up my nose.
It called me names. It mocked me in pidgin.
Wretched bird. It even beat me in gin rummy.
Before the ginger cat ate it, I swear it said yummy.

Pasted from


Restated Specifications:
The Sonnenzio by be blank verse, or any rhyme pattern as long as it ends with a rhymed couplet.


My example

Price Elasticity of Demand (Sonnenzio)

It wasn’t that I didn’t think her fine,
It wasn’t that she wasn’t from my race,
It wasn’t that her father owned the mine,
It wasn’t that he kept me in my place.
It wasn’t that she acted like a snob,
It wasn’t that her father fired my dad,
It wasn’t for the nobs with which she’d hob;
don’t think that when she’d smiled I wasn’t glad.
Don’t think she thought I wasn’t fun to tease;
she teased all boys, it wasn’t only me.
Don’t think I wasn’t proud as punch to please.
I would have but her favor wasn’t free.
It wasn’t that a line formed at her door,
I’d settle for a less expensive whore.

© Lawrencelot – March 20, 2015

The following is the first line from a Black-Narcissus Sonnet:
“I wrote a folded sonnet in a room that wasn’t there”

See it HERE.