February is one of my favourite months of the year. Not because of the weather (which is horrible) or Pancake Day (which **is** brilliant btw) but because it’s 28 Sonnets Later month!
In case you haven’t heard of it before, 28 Sonnets Later is a little project that I run with some lovely poets called Andy Bennett, Russell J Turner, and Olly Watson.
We started in 2012, and every year we give ourselves twenty-eight days to write twenty-eight sonnets on a given topic. In recent years we’ve tried our hand at ekphrastic poetry, European Union-themed poetry, and a collaborative sonnet corona, as well as writing a series of very silly but enjoyable poems based on the fictional (and throughly dysfunctional) town of Buckley Oak.
This year, we decided to take existing poems and use them as inspiration for sonnets. This is both a brilliant idea (because it gives you loads of inspiration) and a terrible idea (because who in their right mind wants to re-write modern classics?! That’s just asking for trouble!).
Anyway, I chose to write my poems based on the work of Hannah Silva, Warsan Shire, Wendy Cope, Maya Angelou, Caroline Bird, Elizabeth Bishop and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and it was really good fun!
Here are the links to my poems. Why not give them a read and let me know what you think?
#2 - Never write your own epitaph (after Percy Bysshe Shelley)
#6 - Incompatible (after Wendy Cope)
#10 - Phenomenal Woman (after Maya Angelou)
#14 - Ampersand (after Caroline Bird)
#18 - Consequences (after Warsan Shire)
#22 - The Path of Least Resistance (after Elizabeth Bishop)
#26 - Breaking the Silence (after Hannah Silva)
|The Phenomenal Maya Angelou (Source)|
I always really love writing sonnets as part of this project – it cheers me right up during the cold grey February days! And I always seem to get intensely obsessed with iambic pentameter around this time of year too, to the point where I’m floating round the house singing the syllables to myself:
Da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum;
Da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum.
Being a poet is a very strange profession…
Anyway, you can check out the 28 Sonnets Later website to see all the poems we wrote this year or check out our twitter page for more sonnet-y goodness!