Category Archives: Poetic Techniques

All forms of techniques that I display within my poetry. The structures of what rhymes consist of and what different terms mean.

Dante’s variation of sonnet

English: Dante Alighieri's portrait by Sandro ...
English: Dante Alighieri’s portrait by Sandro Botticelli. Tempera 54,7 x 47,5 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dante Alighieri was a major Italian poet in the middle ages. His variation of  a sonnet consisted of  two sestets.
and two quatrains.

A quatrain consisting of four lines.

A sestet consists of six lines.

The rhyme structure for his version one is two sestets of A-AB-A-A-B and A-A-B-A-A-B. This is then followed by two quatrains of C-D-D-C and C-D-D-C.

The rhyme structure for version two is two sestets of A-A-B-B-B-A and A-A-B-B-B-A. Followed by two quatrains of C-D-D-C and C-D-D-C.

Using version one

World’s Collide By Helen Ingram

A- When two world’s collide,

A- Unable to put issues aside,

B-  Wartime vessels, and guns at the ready,

A- When children cried,

A- They witness people that have died,

B- Children running for comfort, holding their teddy.


A- All peace efforts have been denied,

A- Wanting to divide,

B- Unable to keep peace and stay steady,

A- An evil spirit lurks inside,

A- Wanting to misguide,

B- Evil spirit you so deadly.


C- Why can’t you mend?

D- Instead of wanting to destroy,

D- Need to give love to all and give out some toys,

C- Stop this bickering battle and befriend.


C- These views need to descend,

D- Need to start to enjoy,

D- Lets destroy this hatred and spread some joy,

C- Then  finally things can start to amend.


As you can tell I have stuck to the structure which Dante uses in his version one of a sonnet.



Sonnet 2

Okay so the next type of sonnet I shall talk about is Spenserian sonnet which has the rhyme structure ‘A-B-A-B-B-C-B-C-C-D-C-D-E-E’. As you notice this requires most of one letter rhyming a number of times and also consists of three couplets. An example of this poem is:

‘One day I wrote her name upon the strand’ By Edmund Spenser

A-One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
B-But came the waves and washed it away:
A-Again I wrote it with a second hand,
B-But came the tide and made my pains his prey.
B-Vain man (said she), that dost in vain assay
C-A mortal thing so to immortalize;
B-For I myself shall like to this decay,
C-And eke my name be wiped out likewise.
C-Not so (quod I); let baser things devise
D-To die in dust, but you shall live by fame;
C-My verse your virtues rare shall eternise,
D-And in the heavens write your glorious name:
E-Where, when as death shall all the world subdue,
E-Our love shall live, and later life renew.

So as you can see the rhyme structure has been used.


So as promised, I said I would write about many poetry forms on this blog. The first one I shall talk about is Sonnets. Now the first one that comes to mind is Shakespeare, the godfather of this form in my opinion. A typical Shakespeare sonnet, consists of the rhyme structure  ‘A-B-A-B-C-D-C-D-E-F-E-F-G-G’. Shakespeare sonnets, are only 14 lines long, no longer. You will also notice that Shakespeare sonnets finish with a rhyming couplet.

Such examples, of when I have used used this rhyming structure are in my poem ‘Stare’ which will be featured in my new poetry book called  ‘My World ‘ that I am working on.

‘Stare’ By Helen Ingram (C) copyrights all held to Helen Ingram

A-You stare at people that have passed,
B-Broken down society as youth feel labelled,
A-As you divide people as they feel classed,
B-Not believing in youth’s talents as they are able,
C-To prove to you disbelieving people that your opinions should be disabled,
D-Your breakdown has led to this angry society,
C-Then only can people feel less stigmatized and unlabelled,
D-You make people feel anxiety,
E-You want people to be the same and not have variety,
F-You want to control and stabilize but unable to obtain,
E-Wanting us to meet your propriety,
F-Whilst you tie us up in your policy chains,
G-We will stare at you and our hearts will glisten,
G-As you should sit down for a change and actually listen.

So as you can see in my poem I have stuck to the rhyme structure, and only used 14 lines. So that’s how you write a Shakespeare sonnet.  This is the most common form, of Shakespeare rhyme structure, I haven’t focused on other elements, that make up the form  such as meter, and other technique elements. I tend to use the rhyme structure, only and not other technique stuff.

Three Victorian poets book

Three Victorian poets book

I often get asked am I a modern poet or old school. I see myself as neither. I use some language of old school in my work, like ‘Thee’, ‘thy’ and ‘O’. Mainly, due to that I feel these have been forgotten about. At the same time, as much as I like the mysterious nature of old school poetry. I feel that modern poetry needs to be more direct, so the modern reader understands. As today’s language, is a lot less complex, and more simplified. I would like to know where, I could find information whether the language, that was spoken back then, was how they spoke, or just how the literacy form was portrayed. Such old school poetry I refer to is ‘Three Victorian Poets’ as I find some quite unique rhyme structures in there. I also like the notion, of how they use narrative poetry. I shall be posting more on rhyme structures soon.