Upon the release of the Society’s How to Write Classical Poetry


When feeling some compulsion to compose,
One wonders which of many forms to choose,
Then tends to favor what one really knows,
Where there is little left to gain or lose.

But one may wait to see how process goes,
Delay deciding on a mode to use,
Let verse reveal itself as more than prose.
(Its very sound and sense provide good clues.)

As language flows from pen or key to page,
Discovery could be one’s s.o.p.
So that surprise engages every stage
Of writing any kind of poetry.

A habit can be difficult to halt:
Here is another sonnet by default.


A native Virginian, Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia. Her second collection, Tides & Currents, like her first, Unloosed, is available from Kelsay Books.

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7 Responses

  1. Sally Cook

    Dear Jane Blanchard —

    Thank you for posting your poem AGAIN, about making sonnets. So much poetry, whether free or formal, eschews content for frippery. Good poems have many levels, and, through the use of meter and rich descriptive language make it easy for readers to move from one to another. Having only read the one poem, I am not yet able to see if you agree, but I sense that you do.
    I must go to your site and read more

  2. Leonard Dabydeen

    Jane Blanchard’s ‘Again’ is a wonderful sonnet and an interesting guide to follow in learning how to write sonnets. Here is a sonnet I have written:

    A Rich Man

    When a rich man is afraid
    That he may lose everything
    He sleeps less for not being paid
    And twitters almost about anything.

    God forbid time will come
    When he and his cronies
    Will wonder if they and some
    Will squawk about their follies.

    What shall we do next? They ask
    Sitting on their laurels at last
    Abracadabra what is our task?
    Scrubbing hands to wash the past.

    And this rich man will sit and ponder
    What is it like being poor, I wonder?

    Thank you for comments.

  3. Father Richard Libby

    I really enjoyed this sonnet. Congratulations on a job well done!

  4. David Hollywood

    So reflective of how we often find ourselves when writing. Thank you.

  5. Lew Icarus Bede

    Part of the ease of Ms. Blanchard’s “Again” comes from its “its very sound,” exempli gratia, the “z” in the octave. What I particularly like about her sonnet is its even and regular surface as the “language flows,” the contemporary acronym, and the quietly abrupt couplet. Though it is très moderne in its writing about writing, in her absence of enjambment she reminds me of Gray in the polish of her lines. It is a style that is easily missed amidst the bombast of the day, but a relief nonetheless.


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