What Is a 14-Line Poem Called?

Not all fourteen-line poems have special names, but the most well-known fourteen-line poetry is the sonnet. There are two primary types of sonnets: Petrarchan, or Italian, and Shakespearean, or English.

The Petrarchan sonnet, named after its inventor Petrarch, consists of 14 lines divided into two sections: an octave and a sestet. The octave rhyme pattern is ABBAABBA, but the sestet rhyme scheme is variable. Shakespeare adapted the sonnet to English language conventions. Three groups of four lines, called quatrains, and a final couplet make up the divisions of a Shakespearean sonnet. The rhyme system of the Shakespearean sonnet is ABABCDCDEFEFGG, and it is composed in iambic pentameter.


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