How to write a classic or English sonnet?

How to make a English or Shakespearean Sonnet? How to write a sonnet?


This section helps you to create a sonnet, but also any poem with other different structure or fixed form. So you have to read step by step this page because is very useful to get it. I also think the verses depend oneself, according to the style, the thoughts, the experience, the character, the imagination… The rest is a matter of learning.
No app or machine can make a poem or a sonnet like yourself, because you have the ability not only for reflecting or expressing, but getting inspiration and feel what you dream or live.

Let’s start

One: 1

Reflect on a dream, an anxiety, an idea, a situation or an emotion, what you try to describe or narrate in your poem.

E.g.:  «I will talk about a love, I felt it was my first love, who arrived towards my village to be with me forever, but it was impossible because I left my hug too early for working, and when I knew that, I was looking for it, but I didn’t find it. That fact gives me different emotions. «

Two: 2

Look for some words: verbs, adverbs, nexuses and nouns, related to what you will express. Find synonyms. Make a list.

* To walk = to march = to move = to passage = to wander = to travel
* To dwell = to live = to inhabit = to populate = to lodge
* Afternoon, tomorrow, after, before…
* Maybe, perhaps, mayhap, possibly…
* Above, under, with, over, against, from, since, across, in…
* And, or, however, because, that, although…
* Town = ranch = country = village = countryside= township
* House = home = shack = hug = household = mansion
* Luck = fortune = good fortune = chance.

Three: 3

Before starting, keep in mind an order like the story: introduction, development, outcome and conclusion.

E.g.: Question yourself continuously, while you are developing your poem:

What? Where? When? How? Why?….

Four: 4

Create more than one phrase or sentence yours, not very extensive, using the necessary words that allude what you wrote in the first step.

1. I know you came to see me here, in my hug…
2. Someday you came to my countryside for me.
3. You walked towards my village to take me forever with you…

Note: If you want to remove a word but leave its meaning or presence in some way, take it and relate it to other words for replacing.

E.g.: «Village» or «countryside»: rivers, mountains, hills, mounts, stone paths, far, a small place…

1. You walked across the hills and mountains
2. You went across the mountains and waterfalls
3. You passed over mountains and rivers.

Five: 5

From the first sentences, choose one. Count how many syllables make it up, and if there are ten syllabics, excellent! If not, try to shorten it or mute words, replace, continue to the next verse, inquire…

Before:  You went across the mountains and waterfalls: 11
After:  You went across the mountains, waterfalls: 10

.Six: 6

Put the syllable’s number by side of verse, as well as the letter «A» or «B» on the quartets, wich will designate the rhyme of the verse.

You went across the mountains, waterfalls: 10; A

.Seven: 7

Follow your idea, interlacing it through the nexus, completing the first strophe. Make sure it have ten syllables in each verse.


You went across the mountains, waterfalls         10; A
to hold me by your side as life as death,             10; B
but it no ensued cause in the same breath          10; B
I say bye to hug with first light on walls.              10; A

If you think the verses don’t sound well, maybe it’s because they lack rhythm; for this reason, note that the tonic syllable is in the 2nd. or 3rd. or 4th, 6th. u 8va position and always in the 10th. Alternate words.


You went across the mountains and the falls         10; A
to hold me in your arms in life and death,             10; B
but it no ensued cause in the same breath            10; B
I say bye to home when the first light falls.              10; A

Eight: 8

Begin the second verse. Check the number of syllables and the rhyme of each sentence: follow again the steps above.

Just before the rain —with the drops so smalls—        10; A
could flood streets, rivers, wells… I with good faith     10; B
stuck a note on the lamp-post like a wraith                  10; B
to find you through my tears and through my calls…    10; A

Nine: 9

When you finish the quartets, make now the triplets. Describe them with the letters «D» and «C» or «E” … If the previous verses were introduction, development and little outcome, the tercets will follow the outcome, apart they will be final and conclusion. Take the previous steps.

Unlucky for my luck, it was so late:        10; C
just a joy for a moment while I strove    10; D
purely in a dream… as statue I´ll wait…   10; C

Then I knew in silence that, still above,    10; D
with the force of my soul, in spite of fate, 10; C
I now will go amongst buildings for love.    10; D

.Ten: 10

At the end review the sonnet, read it aloud, change words to give it better sound, give it style and an order, a creativity … until it seems ready! Identify the central idea and check if it agrees a little or a lot with your original idea. Give it a title.

.E.g.: Sonnet finished

                          MAYBE SOME TIME…
1. You came across the mountains and the falls
1. to take me by your side in life and death,
1. but that didn’t happen cause in the same breath
1. I left my house when first light struck the walls…
2. Just before the rain —with its drops so smalls—
2. could flood the streets, the wells… I with good faith
2. stuck an ad on the lamp-posts like a wraith
2. to find you through my tears or through my calls…
3. Without luck for my luck, it was too late:
3. just a bliss for a moment while I strove
3. so purely in my hope… but I’ll not wait…
4. Then I knew in silence that with a shove
4. from the strength of my soul, in spite of fate
4. I’ll now go among buildings for your love.
Osfelip Bazant

1. Exposition or Introduction; 2. and 3. Development and outcome; 4. Conclusion. Sonnet’s structure: ABBA-ABBA-CDC-DCD

This example is a classic Spanish or Italian sonnet, but if you want to make an English or Shakespearean Sonnet, then just type the rhyme in the following way: in three quartets and a sextet or in three quartets and one couplet, with verses of iambic pentameter, example: ABBA ABBA CDCDCD or ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, etc.

I invite you to start one, two, three or more sonnets…




Note: I hope these steps to make a sonnet you like and help you. If you want, write a comment … Thanks so much.

Osfelip Bazant

Love sonnets. How to generate a sonnet.


Read Spanish version here.
Read Portuguese version here.

cuentaunsoneto in English




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