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A sonnet is a structured poetry form with origins in medieval Europe. The exact structure varies from author to author, but as codified by William Shakespeare, the typical English language sonnet has the following characteristics:

  • Three quatrains: sets of four lines, connected narratively or thematically, in which the first and third lines rhyme, as do the second and fourth.
  • The verse concludes with a rhyming couplet, which generally serves to reinforce or subvert what the rest of the poem has said.
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  • Each line is in iambic pentameter.
  • The sentiment of the poem is reflective and/or introspective.

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