Haiku Sonnet: Poetic Form

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We're getting close to open submissions season for many college-affiliated literary journals. I haven't submitted much since early spring, but I did receive a few nice and personalized rejections--the kind that let me know I was super close...just not close enough. And so, it's time to get back to sending my work out, but first...

Haiku Sonnets

The basic premise of the haiku sonnet is simple: 4 3-liner haiku plus a couplet of either 5 or 7 syllables adds up to 14 lines, the same number of lines found in a sonnet. The only mention of this form that I've been able to find is a poet named David Marshall.

So to write a haiku sonnet, you really have to know how to write haiku. Here are two posts from Poetic Asides on the topic:

And if you want a refresher on sonnets, check out Poetic Form: Sonnet from January 14, 2011.

Note: For haiku poets who believe in writing one-liners, this same concept could be applied to the haiku sonnet by combining 14 one-line haiku.

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Here’s my attempt at a Haiku Sonnet:

patience, by Robert Lee Brewer

adults gather next
to a STOP sign & wait for
children to escape

from my rocking chair
i examine them all &
hold the weight of clouds

on a yellow bus
the driver makes many stops--
the children must wait

the front lawn needs mowed
though not as bad as the back--
it will have to wait

time waits only for those who
know to hold the weight of time

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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