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by Suzette Richards

As with © Suzette Prime 2012, syllable counts have often tripped me up and I rather eschewed poetic forms where it was a set requirement. I knuckled down and investigated the various poetic forms at our disposal to establish what appeals to me and why they do. Without fail, the most pleasing of the forms were not stylized formats, but rather those with a lyrical element to them. Time and again, I came back to the classic sonnets, and the newer formats also fascinated me – a total of 180 sonnets, including pseudo sonnets (quatorzains/’gadget’ sonnets).

What sets poetry apart from regular prose, or everyday communication, is that it has an element of rhythm, and has its own unique language, for example, the use of alliteration. Historically speaking, songs came first before the written word. As with many poetic forms which have their roots in the spoken word and songs, for example, sijo (stresses and not syllable counts are paramount), jueju (phonetics have been employed to westernize this classic Chinese poetic form), chant (where alliteration plays an important role and repetition establishes a rhythm), etc, rhythm and tonal quality are paramount. Therefore, rhythm and sound have primacy over meaning. Metre lends rhythm to the poetry penned and as such, I designed Suzette sonnet with this in mind and introduced it here on by posting the sonnet, Ineffable Mysteries, below.

How does one write poetry? Systematically. One step at a time by placing one metrical foot in front of the other. Syllable counts, as well as stressed vowels, may vary from one app to another on the Internet. The word ‘deleterious’, for example, would be written in a British English dictionary as deleter’ious, with the stress on the second ‘e’. However, per the American based app,, it scans as follows:

Del-e-te-ri-ous: Primary syllable stress ‘-te’ and 2nd syllable stress ‘del-’.

There are close to 180 sonnet forms, of which about 75 are pseudo forms, for example, Terza Rima sonnet, haiku sonnet, etc. Of the remaining ‘true sonnets’ all have specific designs and are identified by their distinctive names, for example, Saraband sonnet (see my poem OUT OF THE DARKNESS, posted 15 August 2021), American Forte, Lannet, etc© Suzette sonnet 2021 (Suznet for short) is as unique as this last-mentioned category of sonnets.


Rhyme scheme: aaa; (b1–b2)(b1–b2); ccc; (d1–d2)(d1–d2); abcd

  1. A 14-line poem.
  2. The triplets are iambic pentameter [*/|*/|*/|*/|*/];
  3. the rhyming couplets are iambic hexameter including an internal rhyme [*/|*/|*/ — */|*/|*/] (alexandrines);
  4. concluding with a quatrain in iambic pentameter that summarises the poem in a rhyme scheme set by the triplets and couplets.
  5. The volta is at L9, OR the couplets may be used as pivots (similar to a turn, but not exactly the same concept).

My example:


We paid the price for hasty choices made

and cried our tears for dreams put to the blade.

The lessons learned a hefty price we paid.

Against our woes, we rail — the urgency to bail.

Excuses very stale — comparisons must fail?

With truthful knowledge, man must themselves arm,

protecting him from possible great harm,

as ignorance deceptively would charm.

Lament will take its toll — do travel to-wards goal.

Some silver tongues extol — their lavish lyrics roll.

Plumose-like memories that tease then fade.

A fair comparison to current ails,

the signs of growing rapprochement disarm.

Ineffable the mysteries of t’ soul.

© Suzette Richards 9 April 2021

NB No part of my designed poetic forms may be copied/used in any manner, including the unique names of the poetic forms—it would constitute Paraphrasing plagiarism