A poem of fourteen lines in iambic pentameter with one of several fixed rhyme schemes. The most common sonnet forms include the Shakespearean or English sonnet (rhymed ABAB CDCD EFEF GG) and the Petrarchan or Italian sonnet (rhymed ABBAABBA CDECDE, ABBAABBA CDCDCD, or one of several other variants).
The ninth line of a traditional sonnet often contains a volta or “turn”—some kind of important change (rhetorical, imagistic) in the poem. Thus sonnets are often (though not always) conceived in terms of an 8-line and a 6-line group: an octave and a sestet.
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