How to write a sonnet

How to write a sonnet
The sonnet is a poetic form that has been widely used for centuries, from its medieval origins in Italy. It has been used by great poets and universal writers like Dante, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Quevedo, Gongora, Baudelaire and many others, and still remains valid.

In this article we give you some basic guidelines on how to write a sonnet. The rest, of course, depends on your own creativity.


Sonnet classical building is formed by two quartets and two triplets, two quatrains and then other two of three verses. The lines must be heroic, that is, eleven syllables, although there is also a variant of the Alexandrian sonnet, with verses of fourteen syllables. You can see here How to Measure lines (I) and Measuring verses (II).

The concept.

A sonnet usually expressed usually a complete idea, following a structure of beginning, middle and end. There are no set rules in this regard, but usually the first quatrain introduces the topic and amplifies the second, while the first trio reflects on the central idea of the quartets and end the emotional trio, just with some reflection, moral or deep idea.


The way of chaining has not rhyme standards have to be met to the letter, but the tradition has come to impose a classical uses. Thus, a prototypical sonnet structure can be fixed in the quartets (ABBA, ABBA) rhyme and variants available in the triplets (CDE: CDE, CDE DCE; CDC DCD).


Double sonnet includes a heptasilabo verse after verse every odd quartets, and another after the second of each triplet, bringing the sonnet has 20 verses 14 and six heptasilabos heroic. Heptasilabo each verse rhyme with the previous immediately.

The sonnet with estrambote, meanwhile, includes a verse or set of verses below 14 classical structure. There are also other forms such as the sonnet English sonnet or echo.

“A sonnet Violante sends to me”.

This satirical sonnet by Lope de Vega , just about building a sonnet to order, usually a typical example for students of literature who face the study of the sonnets for the first time.

You will see the heroic verse and the typical structure (ABBA, ABBA, CDC, DCD).

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