Fond of doing jigsaws? Try this for a change. It is a similar mindless waste of time, requiring little skill but a great deal of patience and much trial-and-error, and producing, after a great deal of time and effort, something of no value whatsoever....
Shakespearean sonnets, as we all know, usually have the rhyme scheme ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Writing a pastiche is an absolute doddle, provided that you don’t worry about its meaning. Here’s one I made earlier:
Of that which, dying, consummates its choice
The greater part is taken in extremes.
The single passion and the silent voice
Have need of darkness to escape those dreams
Which turn them, quickening, to such distaste
That by their very virtues are they lost;
A changing nature, summon'd thus in haste
In all humility to bear the cost
Doth swiftly and most eagerly o'ersway
Those forces which of magnitude are free
No less from birth and greater in decay
Old when 'tis born and older still to be;
And neither shall that power be denied
Which is, by human reason, yet untried.
Good, isn’t it? One might almost say it had a dying fall, coming o'er my ear like the sweet sound that breathes upon a bank of violets.
I offer a challenge to anyone who fancies him/herself as a versifier: Write a fourteen-line sonnet using these words for line endings:
mind about blind out
heart latch part catch
sight creature night feature
...then send it to me as a comment to this post before the end of the year. I won’t publish any as comments, but I will post a report on 7th January, with a link to all the entries, and send a cheque for £20 in the name of the writer to the Save the Children Fund.
(As I said, your sonnet doesn’t have to mean anything, but it must sound as if it might; it must not be gibberish.)