sonnet lecture

Writing Poetry: Sonnets, Haiku, and Tanka


Sometimes writing poetry is difficult, especially if you want to go old school and use a set rhyme scheme, or heaven forbid, attempt iambic pentameter.

Here are a few helpers:

For rhymes, check out: or

Syllable Checker:


I do a lecture on sonnets themselves. I have attached a PDF of my background lecture.

A sonnet is a 14-line lyric poem with a single theme, originated during the Italian Renaissance and later spread throughout Europe.  Usually written in iambic pentameter.  Most common themes are romantic love and religion.

There are three formats:  Italian (called “Petrarchan”), Spenserian, and English (called “Shakespearean”).  The most common are Petrarchan and Shakespearean; Edmund Spenser is the only poet to use the format that bears his name.

For more specific details, here are my lecture notes: Sonnet Notes Lecture PDF

Sonnet Lecture Notes

Downloadable PDF Above

Shakespeare’s SONNET 18