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A Sonnet for Mother Lanka

During a creative writing workshop I got the chance to learn the form of poetry, “Sonnet” (or sonette). Probably you have already read Shakespeare’s famous sonnet “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”

The basic rules of writing a sonnet are as follows (please note this is not a complete guide for writing a sonnet, but you can certainly try writing one by following these tips).

1. You should write 4 verses. Three verses with 4 lines and the last/fourth verse should have only 2 lines (altogether it must consist of 14 lines).

2. The third verse should change the direction of the poem (a twist or conflict).

3. It must be written in one of various standard rhyme schemes.

4. The last verse should summarize and leave the reader with a new, concluding image.

The below given poem was the outcome of an exercise I did in the workshop. This was written by me and Debora (another participant of the workshop), where I wrote every other line and she wrote the rest of the lines.

The rhyme scheme we followed is,
A B A B
C D C D
E F E F
G G

Here is the sonnet we wrote (you might think it’s a very political poem, yes, it is).
A Sonnet for Mother Lanka

Oh Sri Lanka, How wonderful you look
I’ve slept in your breast, I felt your warmth
I’ve wondered in all your corner and nook
I’ve stepped through your rising charm- south and north

Buildings, high ways, hotel so beautiful
Smiles, laugh, happy faces grateful to have peace
Gardens and fountains you spring-dutiful
Let me sing merry songs swaying in your breeze

But in reality it’s nothing but tease
The thorns are still there, your wounds are still bare
Suffering, pain, crime, corruption, nothing has ceased
Will they keep your promise of love and care?

What you are is a façade, fake, and ordeal
What is my role in your journey to heal?

About The Author

Hasitha Adhikariarachchi

Hasitha is the winner of Multilingual Poetry Slam, NSW, Australia (2017). She fell in love with this profession when she was a little girl who loved writing her heart out. She represented Sri Lanka at the South Asian Film Arts and Literature Festival (SAFAL Fest) in Sydney. She started Queen of Sea in 2013 and now she shares its’ space for publishing write-ups with her friends who love writing as much as she does.

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