Monday, October 15, 2012

Get ready for confusing homework hence / Sir Shakespeare's rhyme scheme takes some time to crack!

Originally posted 11/14/11.

For the last couple of years, I've had to spend most late Fall—early Spring mornings walking nearly a mile to  TAPA, in the (typically wet/cold) Taipei Winter rain. I hate that. So gross. Maybe my least favorite moments of my time in Taiwan.

That's part of the reason I was so excited to get a scooter is that I would no longer have to make the death march in the terrible weather. A great example of that was this evening, when, in the nastiness, I was able to speed home, still drenched, but at least in less than 5 minutes. Awesome. It was this epic joy I felt in my heart that I decided to compose a Shakespearean Sonnet to this love:
  u       /      u          /            u         /        u      /      u      /
My scooter's paint job's nothing like a Benz;    [A]
  u       /           u       /        u         /             u       /       u       /
its scuffs and scratches prove that it's been used.    [B]
  u       /      u        /   u      /     u           /        u         /
The Harley of a wealthy man who spends    [A]
  u            /      u          /    u      /      u      /            u     /
looks perfect next to my machine, abused.    [B]

  u         /      u     /   u     /     u      /      u      /
The engine of a Harley Davidson    [C]
  u        /  u   /       u        /        u      /      u      /
Will easily outwork my motorbike.    [D]
  u       /          u          /   u    /      u      /        u      /
A brand new Yamaha, so fast, so fun,    [C]
  u    /      u            /      u         /        u      /      u      /
Is nowhere near to what my motor's like.    [D]

  u           /      u          /           u         /        u      /      u       /
Yet thine two-wheel'ed steed dost daily move    [E]
  u             /          u      /    u       /        u       /         u       /
Miss Webb and I betwixt our home to school.    [F]
  u            /    u          /        u         /    u     /      u          /
While other bikes more valuable may prove,    [E]
  u        /       u      /     u        /     u      /       u         /
For transportation's value, it's my jewel.    [F]

  u       /       u      /        u         /      u          /      u      /
So let's go get some money from the bank    [G]
  u       /               u            /        u     /      u      /      u      /
Because you've earned a fill-up of your tank.    [G]
OK, how about this? Is it a true Shakespearean sonnet after all? I'd go with yes:
  • It's lyrical (i.e. not telling a story).
  • It's 14-lines long.
  • The entire thing is written in iambic pentameter.*
  • It has the English (Shakespearean) rhyme scheme of ABAB / CDCD / EFEF / GG.
  • It has 2 different thematic sections with a turn in the middle:
    • First 8 lines: My scooter sucks in many ways.
    • Last 6 lines: My scooter is awesome in many ways, and I will reward it (with gas).
Can you guess where this is going? If you guessed "HEY TEACH-AH, ARE WE GOING TO MAKE OUR OWN SONNETLAAAAAS?", then yes, you guessed right.

So here's the plan: starting today (for A-Day classes) and tomorrow (for B-Day classes), you'll be working on writing 14-line sonnets about something you have a love/hate relationship with. You'll need to write in iambic pentameter with a defined rhyme scheme (i.e. Italian ABBA/ABBA/CDECDE or Italian ABBA/ABBA/CDCDCD or English ABAB/CDCD/EFEF/GG—you pick!). Also, you'll need to make sure you label both the meter and word stresses and the rhyme scheme.

OH, and, just for an added bonus, I'll give extra points to my, let's say, top 3 favorite sonnets in both classes. You have one week to get this project done, so it'll be due at the beginning of Week of Prayer. Get started!

*One line I really had to get creative with: "two-wheel'ed." That's pronounced in 3 syllables. It's cheating, but whatever. I'm cool. I can do it.


  1. How did you do the spacing thing?! I tried the Compose thingy instead of the HTML formating and it still came out!

  2. Teach ah, how do we do the spacing for the U and / Stuff!!! Headache!!