Nonstandard Sonnets

A prompt featuring Jenna Le's "Byerly’s — Fine Foods — 24 Hours"

I enjoy Jenna Le’s sonnet “Byerly’s — Fine Foods — 24 Hours” not only because I know the grocery store she writes about, but because the poem breaks out of the standard sonnet pattern in two directions at once.

First, its meter isn’t the usual pentameter, but iambic hexameter (lines of six iambic feet), a meter that’s relatively rare in English. For some further examples, look at the final line of each stanza in Shelley’s “To a Skylark” and Hardy’s “The Convergence of the Twain” for strict treatments of the meter, and at Yeats’s “Beautiful Lofty Things” for a looser treatment.

Second, its rhyme scheme is slant-rhymed monorhyme, using only one end rhyme, until the final, differently rhymed couplet. (My favorite example of strict monorhyme is Dick Davis’s “A Monorhyme for the Shower.”)

For this prompt, choose your challenge:

1. Write a sonnet in any of its standard rhyme schemes, but in a meter other than pentameter.

2. Write a sonnet in monorhyme, full or slant, with or without the differently rhymed final couplet.

3. Or vary both meter and rhyme, as Le does.