A-Z: General definitions: Petrarchan sonnet


A sonnet is a poem with a special structure of fourteen lines, which are organised in a particular manner, usually characterised by the pattern of rhyming, which changes as the ideas in the poem evolve. Sonnets originated in Italy in the fourteenth century, and those with the following structure are called Petrarchan sonnets after the famous poet, Petrarch; these are divided into an octet (8 lines), usually rhyming abba abba, and a sestet (6 lines) rhyming cde cde. The octet usually sets out and develops a proposition, which the sestet resolves, sometimes in a surprising way.

Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.