Stone:  A Historical Sonnet by K.S. Fause

Leni Riefenstahl by Alexander Binder

Leni Riefenstahl by Alexander Binder

“Stone” by K.S. Fause

Soldiers appear as though they’re carved of stone;
Something so beautiful yet so destructive;
Tens of thousands in the crowd, all unknown.
His words, his gaze, much too seductive.
A masterpiece only I could create;
Connected to hate, violence, and fear,
Burdens my heart with such a heavy weight.
All is shattered that I held close and dear.
How was I to know what he had planned?
I’m an artist, not a politician.
No one knew how far his terror had spanned.
He hungered for power, recognition.
Like a dam buckling under pressure,
Millions died because of this oppressor.

About Leni Riefenstahl


Poster for the 1935 film Triumph des Willens. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Universum Film AG, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.

Leni Riefenstahl (1903—2003) is known for two documentary films she made for Hitler: Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) and Olympia.  While she claimed to be an apolitical artist, her nationalistic vision of Germany’s traditions served to idealize the cause of Hitler’s regime.  After being arrested by the Allies, Riefenstahl portrayed herself as young director who folded to the pressure to make films for the Nazi Party and claimed that she didn’t recognize the goals of the Third Reich until it was too late.  She refused to be held accountable for her role in the Holocaust and upheld that her films were not propaganda but art.

Photo of Leni Riefenstahl via Wikimedia Commons.

Poster for film via Wikimedia Commons.

Italian Sonnet: All Along by K.S. Fause

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou underestimate me, my dear;
I may be fragile, but you won’t break me.
Save yourself, don’t become a tragedy;
You’re the one who needs salvation from fear.

You’ve had the wrong girl this entire year;
Look at the past, look at our history;
You kept your inner mind a mystery,
Not what you appeared to be, now it’s all clear.

Thinking you were stronger than me was wrong;
Never could control me, can’t you see?
We were destined to break all along.

All the pain you caused is in the Dead Sea;
I’m still standing tall, unbreakable, strong.
I know where I’m headed, I have the key.

Learn how to write an Italian sonnet.

photo credit: balt-arts via cc

Italian Sonnet: Mend by K.S. Fause


photo credit: jenny downing via cc

She’ll tell you she needs sometime apart;
You always picked up the pieces for me,
I can be your rebound, if you agree.
When she’s done with you, I’ll mend your torn heart.

Try to forget the past and press restart.
It’s always been you, holding my key;
Always been you who set me free.
Our love was a masterpiece of fine art.

I’ve missed the way you’d watch me as I dozed.
It wasn’t your fault. I was the bad guy;
Let me make it up to you, if I may.

I’ll leave the light on, in case you come by;
My door is always open, never closed.
Just come back and be with me everyday.


What’s an Italian sonnet?


Fixed Form Poetry: The Sonnet and The Villanelle

Writing historical fiction is my thing.  I love developing long-forgotten historical characters and their settings for short stories.  I love throwing conflict after conflict at my main characters in my historical novel-in-progress.  But I also love fixed form poetry.  It’s like placing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together.  The difference is, you have to make the pieces yourself before you put it together.

The Sonnet

The Italian sonnet (or Petrarchan sonnet) treats its theme in two parts:

  1. The octave (8 lines) — states a problem, poses a question, or shows emotional tension.  The rhyme scheme is abba abba.
  2. The sestet (6 lines) — resolves the problem, answers the question, relieves the tension.  The rhyme scheme can vary:  cde cde, cde, dec, or cde dce.

The English (or Elizabethan sonnet) is composed of three rhymed quatrains (12 lines) and end with a rhymed couplet (2 lines).  The rhyme scheme for the English sonnet is abab cdcd efef gg.

Both the Italian and English sonnets consist of a total of 14 lines and 10 syllables per line.  I adhere to the 14 lines for each form, but my lines sometimes fluctuate between 9 and 11 syllables.

Example English sonnet:  The Scribbler

The Villanelle

The villanelle is a French verse consisting of five tercets (15 lines) and a quatrain (4 lines), making for a total of 19 lines.  The rhyme scheme is:  aba aba aba aba aba abaa.  There is no set number of syllables per line for the villanelle, but it’s usually between 8 and 11 syllables.

The key to the villanelle is that the first and third lines of the first tercet are repeated throughout the poem.  The first line is repeated as the last line of the second and fourth tercet and as the third line of the final quatrain.  The third line is repeated as the last line of the third and fifth tercet and as the last line of the final quatrain.

Example villanelle:  Uncharted Escape

Sonnet: The Scribbler by K.S. Fause

The Scribbler

There’s a reason his name is The Scribbler;
just a kitten, he’s clumsy and careless.
He could also be named The Dribbler,
the way he swats and bats balls is fearless.

With a coat as black as ink, he scribbles through
the night like a pen scrawling on paper,
and when I wake, the house is all askew.
All this activity is quite the caper.

When he’s ready to sleep, he curls up around
my neck, his face on mine. I feel the pad
of his paw touch my chin, I don’t make a sound.
Settling in now, he’s content and glad.

He starts his engine and that soothing purr
puts me back to sleep and it’s all a blur.

The Scribbler

This is an English (or Shakespearian) Sonnet.  It consists of the following rhyme scheme:
a b a b
c d c d
e f e f
g g