A Challenge


Hear ye all, the scop  speaks!

A gauntlet has been thrown, and yea, it will be answered.

Here commences the Sonnet Duel!

The challenger is The Dusty Thane, of The Dusty Thane Blog.

The challengee is our own muse Thalia.

And as this is a case of sibling rivalry, (the two are actually real life brother and sister,) I will sit it out and not insist on playing along.

In fact, I have been solicited to be the referee. Ha HA! The POWER! Ahem. I mean, I am honored. I accept the position of great responsibility.


The rules, set by the Mr. Thane, are as follows:

1. Both myself and Thalia must post one sonnet on our respective blogs once every two weeks by midnight Sunday. (My first entry, tonight’s is the exception) This means that the next round is due the 1st of April (and this is no joke).

2. The poem MUST be a sonnet, although not necessarily specifically a Shakespearean one or whatever.  Fourteen lines, iambic pentameter in the majority, coherent rhyme scheme… etc.

3. Whoever does not post a Sonnet in time loses… the other wins. (Duh!)

4. We do encourage readers to comment either here or there which they consider better. It will be a back-up judging method.

5. In cases of doubt, our referee will be Melpomene if the Lady Tragedy is agreeable.

Technically, Thalia should be allowed choice of weapons as the challengee. But as the duel parameters already stipulate a sonnet, I will let that stand.

I propose that the judging method be as such:

There will be three categories, to be given a score between one and ten, ten being the highest, most perfect score possible.


  • Texture: The feel, flow, and atmosphere of the words. The placing of you, as reader, into the scene and letting you feel the caress of the wind on your skin. The thrill of delight that shakes your body when you roll the words over your tongue. Example: Hopkins’ “Pied Beauty“.
  • Form: How well the poem adheres to the traditional form of a sonnet. Or how well it breaks that form to illustrate meaning. The sonnet contains fourteen lines, and in a Shakespearian sonnet is rhymed “ababcdcdefefgg”. A Petrachian sonnet, (also known as an Italian sonnet,) is rhymed “abbaabba,” followed by six lines with a variation of “c”, “d,” and “e” rhymes. Also, with the rhyme scheme shifts, there is supposed to be a “volta”, a turn in the direction of the poem, upsetting the meaning or literal expressions. Milton was a master of this. Examples: Shakespeare’s “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”, Sidney’s “Who Will in Fairest Book“,  and Milton’s “When I consider how my light is spent“.
  • Meaning: What does it all mean? What story does it tell? Does it speak to the readers? Do the metaphors flow and make sense? Example: All of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
  • Do you like it? This is not an official category, (that would make four categories, see?) but it is an important aspect of any poem. Poetry is not an elitist thing, but it is meant to come from and speak to the people.


Here is the first set:

Thalia’s “In Memoriam: Misery

The Dusty Thane’s “Death’s Head(or: Orual’s Song)

Please, please, go read, savor, scrutinize, and judge each poem!  Leave your feedback, thoughts, and scores.

Sometime next week, I will set up the final decree on this round!





3 thoughts on “A Challenge

  1. as mentioned on the facebooks, but for all ya’ll to see….
    “I will sack your Shakespearean cities and pillage your Petrarchan prairies.” Bring it, buster.

  2. Pingback: Sonnet Battle One: Memoriam Vs. Orual « Egotist's Club

  3. Pingback: Blankety Blank! « Fountain of Wit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s