Sonnet

Structure
* 14 lines
* Iambic Pentameter
* static rhyme scheme

Types:
--Italian (Petrarchan)
Structure: * Rhymes abbaabba cdecde using an octave and a sestet.

--Elizabethan (Shakesperean)
Structure: Three quatrains and a couplet.

--Spenserian
Structure: Rhymes abab bcbc cdcd ee


Origins:
The sonnet is believed to come from medieval songs. Sonnets were used extensively by well known poets like Sidney, and Shakespeare in Elizabethan times. They died off about the time of Milton but then came back with romanticism and gained back popularity because of poets like Keats and Wordsworth.


Example:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as man can breath, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Shakespeare