- Arabian Sonnets are metered at 10 syllables per line.
- The lines are composed of iambic pentameters (this is one thing I didn’t strictly follow in the example below, like many others, as it tends to bridle inspiration a bit too much!)
- It also has a volta — simply meaning a turn or climax in the sonnet.
- The volta is on line 9.
We never found a way under his sway.
The elephant trampled us in the fray.
At Lion’s carnal feast we did fall a prey.
The sun blinds us, but we still feel no ray.
For his sake, burning, we flared in his lie.
And his forceful flood left us high and dry.
His shady plot though stared us in our aye.
His sky made us vie to die, not to fly.
He was only bound by our own promise
To follow him and grow in common bliss!
His sweet song was but insane serpent’s bliss!
Over our heads past and future gather.
In the desert we share manna, yonder,
Where angels and beasts will live together.
(Brigitte Poirson “An Arabian sonnet”, 2015
So, the basic elements of the Arabian Sonnet can be summarized as:
- Rhyme scheme: a-a-a-a, b-b-b-b, c-c-c d-d-d
- Meter: Consistent or iambic pentameter
- Structure: a quatorzain – 2 quatrains followed by 2 tercets & a pivot or volta at line 9 (turned in the 9th line.)
There is an interesting variation of this style.
Called the Arabian Onegin Sonnet it follows the same structure and meter as Arabian Sonnet but involves the use of repeat rhyme giving a scheme of:
Her spirit is as free as heaven’s air,
the gorgeous girl whose love I long to share
while tripping through the light of passion’s air
where I shall find the way to say I care.
If darkened eyes reveal a simple verse
can love be shown within a poet’s verse?
Perhaps my pen should practice more, rehearse,
before the pond’rous thoughts my dreams immerse.
To rest my pen when hearing lover’s call
her smiling face that muses to my all
even my words are hers to beck and call.
A poet seeks the ways of old romance,
and writes of love while courting new romance,
inviting her to join the tribade dance.
Have a nice day!!!
by Brigitte Poirson
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.