Write a Crown of Heroic Sonnets

Poetry Contest
The Crown of heroic sonnets is a sequence of seven heroic sonnets usually addressed to one person. It is concerned with a single theme and each sonnet explores a different aspect of the theme and is linked to the preceding and succeeding sonnets by repeating the final line of the preceding sonnet as its first line and by having its final line be the first line of the succeeding sonnet.

The first line of the first sonnet is repeated as the final line of the final sonnet thereby bringing the sequence to a close.

A Heroic Sonnet is an iambic pentameter based poem that adds a heroic couplet to either two Sicilian octave stanzas or four Sicilian quatrain stanzas. In other words, it's eighteen lines of iambic pentameter broken into three or five parts with the last part being a couplet. The rhyme scheme is a,b,a,b,a,b,a,b - c,d,c,d,c,d,c,d - e,e OR a,b,a,b - c,d,c,d - e,f,e,f - g,h,g,h - i,i.

Remember, each of the 7 heroic sonnets consists of 18 lines (two Cecilian octaves and a couplet, or four Cecilian quatrains and a couplet), as opposed to 14 lines in a regular sonnet.

And, a final line on the preceding sonnet is repeated as the first line of the succeeding sonnet.

And lastly, the first line of the first sonnet is repeated as the final line of the last sonnet.

A hard rule in this form is iambic pentameter - the meter structure with an unstressed syllable following by stressed, 10 syllables per line, 5 metric beats - da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM.

Refer to the example below if unsure.

The higher entry fee is due to the complexity and magnitude of this challenge.

My fellow poet and a long time friend Susanne M. Psyris has graciously given permission to use her [brilliant] crown "Within The Heart Of You" as an example. It came in second in our 2010 contest.


Within The Heart Of You

I.

Such beauty reigns within the heart of you
invisible to naked eye of most.
The fragrance of your flesh like morning dew,
reminds me of salt air along the coast.
Your ruby lips, when pouting, stir my core.
So fragile is your temperament, dear.
Our dreams were built upon the Eastern shore;
waves washed away my sadness and my fear.

With every sunset cross the sea so calm,
are memories that keep our love anew.
As if we've lived words written in a Psalm,
expressing our emotions ever true.
A seashell holds the secrets of our youth,
we strive to hang on to those precious years.
Your eyes reflect the meaning and the truth
that wiped away our emptiness and tears.

The ocean's stormy waters held at bay,
create for us another lovely day.

II

Create for us another lovely day,
of sweet romance forever locked inside.
Our spirits and our hearts shall not delay
acceptance of a love we can't deny.
You touch my aging eyes with tenderness
and run your fingers through my thinning hair;
so sweetly on my brow you lay your kiss,
and I remember moments full of care.

I look to yesteryear's when youth was ours
and cherish all the mem'ries that live on.
As if the blooming buds of dying flow'rs
will come to life again when we have gone.
Our world, as we now know it, won't remain;
but we shall find each other after death.
Our souls will be immune to any pain,
there'll be no sadness as we draw last breath.

Relief and happiness will then be found,
as death reveals an afterlife profound.

III

As death reveals an afterlife profound,
we meet again once through the pearly gate.
We speak, though neither of us makes a sound.
You see, in Heaven, silence is the state.
There is no noise, except the golden chord
that's played by angels donning lovely dress.
There is no Chairman sitting on the board;
in heaven, there is no one to impress.

The Lord has found us innocent of sin,
as through our lives we did repent each one.
We let our faith take hold and grow within
and lived and loved as wanted by His Son.
So, now we garner love we've never known,
no prejudice or hate can gain control;
for we're the blossoms of the seeds we'd sown
on earth when flesh had covered up our soul.

For now this all is just a hopeful dream,
a golden thread that's basted o'er the seam.

IV

A golden thread that's basted o'er the seam
of each life that the Lord has blessed to all,
is ours to nurture and to help redeem
preparing each to understand His call.
As you, my love, and I walk through this life
our children have been guided well to see
that love of God is greater than of wife
but, love enough for you is deep in me.

We walk the shore and pick up shells to hear
the roar of ocean's waves that crash and fade.
Amazement lights your eyes and holds your ear,
I liken this to after love we've made.
At times like these my aging eyes deceive
my heart and make me wonder how you're mine
if death takes you first would I still believe
in God, the pearly gate, and love sublime.

The sun sets 'gainst the ev'ning rolling tide
I gaze upon your beauty, smiling wide.

V

I gaze upon your beauty, smiling wide
deep in my heart there sings a song for you.
Forever you will be my blushing bride,
in all the world no love could be as true.
I often sit at night and watch you sleep
afraid that you will cease to breathe again,
and all the mem'ries that this mind may keep
would be meaningless and lost to me then.

And, as I watch you slumber, so at rest
I wonder if you've truly felt this love
that's given me a lifetime of the best
one only God could send from up above.
As fragile and as rare as the"black rose"
so has been all the magic in our world
like buds upon the bushes where they pose
until each silky petal comes unfurled.

I am your Guardian throughout the night
embracing you with potent will and might.

VI

Embracing you with potent will and might,
I feel the gentle heaving of your chest.
Please know, I never want you from my sight
for through your love and friendship, I've been blessed.
You gave me strength to live a life carefree
and sacrificed your dreams to give mine hope.
There's nothing that can break this unity
that ties our hearts and souls with lover's rope.

A simple look from you bewitched my heart,
I could not turn away from your sweet face.
As Cupid aimed and shot his magic dart,
my thoughts could not keep up with my heart's pace.
And, through the years, we've kept our love alive;
romantic and delightful times we share.
Where other lover's fail to grow and thrive,
somehow, our playing field has remained fair.

We love and trust each other doubts aside
In happiness and sorrow, we have cried.

VII

In happiness and sorrow, we have cried
emotions flow like rivers to the sea.
Though often we have failed, we always tried
to sweep away the pain of life's debris.
Our hearts were pure and gentleness defined
the love we grew into as years passed by.
And, suddenly, our age has redesigned
the ways we love and all the reasons why.

Companionship has taken place of needs
to satisfy the cravings once so strong;
and as the evening tide slowly recedes
the weeping bagpipes play their solemn song.
I watch the bursting blossoms fade away,
reflections of the sun dance o'er the moon.
I have no true regrets of yesterday;
I whisper softly, I'll be with you soon.

Remembering your love and how I knew,
such beauty reigns within the heart of you.


The contest winner will win half of the prize pool which is based on the number of entries. The second and third place winners will each share the remaining prize pool. The prize pool is currently 75.00 member dollars. There are 15 spots still open. If all open spots are used the prize pool will be 450.00 member dollars. In this contest at least 2 submissions must be made for the vote to begin.

Deadline: Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.





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Created by ytbard
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Contest Entries

Author Name Submission Status
ytbard Entered Windmills of Mankind
Joy Graham Position Reserved
Susan B. Lamphier Position Reserved