A sonnet is described as a short lyric poem. But before well known sonnets of such poets like Shakespeare, the word sonnet used to simply mean little song. Over the centuries there have been different types of sonnets. Some of the most known sonnets are the types labeled as the English (Shakespearean), Italian, and Occitan Sonnet. One of the most modern types of sonnets is known as Free Form. Most sonnets will follow its conventional form. This poem will consist of 14 lines with iambic pentameter, which is an unstressed syllable that is followed by a stressed syllable.
It will also have a certain rhythmic pattern that will follow throughout the poem. The subject of the poem is about love, desire, or unrequited love. A poem which is considered a sonnet form is a poem by Brian Turner called “Body Bags”. This is about soldiers that are standing over dead bodies. While looking over at the dead corpses they have the impression that at any given moment these dead bodies would wake up from the dead as though they have been in a deep sleep. Worried that these corpses would question to know why blood has been spilled on them.
Asking why they have been shot by weapons. Demanding where their children and wives are, and who are those people shouting and hovering over them. This particular poem does not precisely follow the traditional conventions of a sonnet form. It consists of fourteen lines that a lyric poem would contain but other than that, it departs from the conventional form. It also does not follow any type of rhythmic pattern like other sonnet poems do. “Body Bags” is not associated with love, desire or unrequited love. And neither does it have any rhythmic pattern or meter.
So after these considerations, I believe this to be a Free Form sonnet. Another poem that is a known sonnet is called, “Safe Sex” by Rafael Campo. To my understanding, this poem refers about a relationship between two men. What seems to be a one-sided point of view, it is not certain if his partner feels the same way. It is describing the sexual relationship they both share. It goes on to describing this man’s passion and desire for the other individual, eventually reaching ecstasy. But yet, he wonders within himself, if he has been plagued by the non curable disease.
It seems that he blames himself for engaging in this sexual contact due to being clouded by yearning to love or be loved. Unlike the poem by Brian Turner, Rafael Campo’s “Safe Sex” does follow the principles of conventional form of sonnet. Like many other sonnets, this poem also follows the fourteen lines that a lyric poem would consist of. It is in fact associated with love, desire, and the possibility of being a one-sided love. It also has a certain rhythmic pattern that it follows throughout the poem and included a iambic pentameter. In my opinion, this poem follows the English (Shakespearean) sonnet form.
Since this form is defined as having rhythmic pattern that follows the ‘ababcdcdefefgg’ form and at the same time it includes the iambic pentameter. I find that “Safe Sex” is more compelling than ‘body bag”. Even though it is describing a sexual engagement, what stands out about it is the one describing it desires to be loved or desires to feel loved. He is willing to risk his own life knowing what he does is unsafe. He is blinded by his body’s yearning to feel pleasure. Yet, he goes on by saying that he feels protected because he feels the chemistry of love at the moment.
It is like an addiction of drugs, once one feels pleasure like no other, one will wanted again and again. If one is on their way to ecstasy, it is so unlikely one will turn back until they reach the top. Every mind may have similarities in regarding a subject. But yet, I believe we all see different. I truly believe that the intention of a poet is to have the reader follow a certain direction and let their minds think for themselves at which to direction to lead at the end. Hoping on their way they will end up with the same type of feeling the poet wants a reader to feel.
Whether it is sadness, love, or anger, I believe a poet’s goal is to have their reader’s mind explore feelings that have not been felt before, which can make a difference in their life. Exploring different views and maybe changing one’s opinions can change so much in this world. We have gone through so much prejudice in this country even though it is it still exists today. What made it become less and less is the voices that we have heard on the television, the books we have read, and the history that has been passed down every generation. Poetry is just another form of passing down a message that may change it all.