A sonnet is a one-stanza poem of fourteen lines, written in iambic pentameter, and rhyming according to a prescribed scheme.
Originally created by Petrarch (Petrarchan sonnet), the form was made famous by William Shakespeare.
The son’s net (sonnet) wasn’t used. He was only fourteen (fourteen lines). Dad used his spear (Shakespeare) and caught a pen who said: “I am a pen” (iambic pentameter).
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 is a well-known example:
A sonnet is a one-stanza poem of fourteen lines written in iambic pentameter.
The rhyme scheme (the last word of each line) of a Shakespearean sonnet is:
ABAB CDCD EFEF GG
Each letter above stands for one of the fourteen lines, and lines that have the same letter have the same rhyme at the end.
No wonder it's called shakespearean - it makes my eyes shake!
If we look at Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 again, we can see this pattern: