In Celebration of the Bard

Today is Shakespeare’s birthday (and deathday). In honor of this, and in a response to a challenge I’ve recently received regarding my lack of non-academic writing and the subsequent withering of my soul, I propose the following challenge to any of my poetic readers (this means, among others, you, Candice):

Write a sonnet a day for one year.

They don’t have to be publishable; they don’t have to be brilliant, or even all that good. But imagine the fantastic life-journalling power, as well as writing improvement and mental discipline such a task would give.

So as of today, and up through the 22nd of April next year, I am going to focus on writing a sonnet a day. Will you join me?

If so, will you send your more promising ones to me as comments via this post? If you so desire, I might even give the better ones their own posting positions, with full credit to authors (of course).


  1. The poems must be sonnets, not in any other form.
  2. They may be either Petrarchan, English, or any other generally recognized sonnet form.
  3. Near rhyme, slant rhyme, and occasional emphatic uses of non-iambic meter are perfectly acceptable.
  4. Topics can be anything that comes to your mind throughout the day—humor, politics, academics, rants about the job—are all perfectly acceptable, though you must meet the standard structure of whatever sonnet form you use for the given sonnet.
  5. Try not to use inverted sentences, archaic language, or other hack tools just to make a proper meter or rhyme! (The point is to improve our literary discipline.)
  6. If you miss a day, get back on the wagon. Better to have written 293 sonnets than none at all.

On, on, oh mighty steeds!


6 thoughts on “In Celebration of the Bard

  1. Well, here’s the thing. Villanelles, though quite fun to write, require a bit more time and concentration. Limericks, however, might be quite fun, but would be hard to achieve anything of literary merit.

    C’mon, Candice, give it a whirl! Maybe not one every day, but do dust of that genius and expose it to some fresh air!

  2. Dust OF genius? Are you saying that Candice is only lightly dusted with genius? Is that more than a pinch? Less than a smidgen? A dash? A speck? Thinly coated? Heavily greased? Chopped and pureed? Mechanical soft? Drawn and quartered… tarred and feathered? Boiled in oil? I know I know!!! IMPALED! She is IMPALED with genious! I knew if I let the stream run long enough I’d get a good one! I wish I could be impaled with genius! It’s kinda like the matrix.

  3. ahem. I seem to have had a consonantal lapse. An ‘f’-ing lapse. As in dust ofF that genius.

    Impaled with genius. You know, I would agree with you on that desire, except that my imagination has forever been mutilated regarding that term from a far too literal and graphic paper by one Mark Tschaepe on the theories of the Marquis de Sade. But you can be impaled with genius if’n ya wants it.

    I’ll settle for being run outta town with genius.

  4. Impaled by one’s own genius; is that anything like being hoist with one’s own petard? As delightfully picturesque as that image is, I think I’d prefer to be merely lightly dusted with genius. In any case, said genius can afford to collect a little more dust; it’s my heart that’s long overdue for a good airing out, and sonnets are not my heart’s preferred method of self-expression. I do thank you, though, for the kind invitation.

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