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Poetry On Wooing

Background by Baron Giles Leabrook

An A+S class on sonnets was held 15th of May 2008 at Dutton Park Scout Hall. As part of his role as current Queen's Guard, and concious of an upcoming Kingdom A+S contest, Lord Tomas Eskelson asked me to present this class.

After hearing about the definitions and history of sonnets, and a couple of examples, my happy little sonneteers were given the task of composing a sonnet in committee themselves. We chose the Shakespearian format - 14 lines of iambic pentameter, in 3 quatrains and a couplet. Rhyming abab cdcd efef gg.

Tomas was charged with selecting the topic, and he chose "On Wooing". Participants selected 14 words at random from the works of Shakespeare and Spenser (NB: sparckling), which were to appear somewhere on each of the 14 lines of the sonnet. The participants then broke into groups with responsibility for a quatrain. None of them have seen the work in it's complete form yet.

The sonneteers were Guillaume Lavet, Tomas Eckerson, Malcolm, Acacia d'Navarre, Helen Wentworth,Nastasia, Catrin and myself. All reported a pleasant stretch of their brains at the unaccostomed task of writing poetry. Whether any of them goes on to write any more remains to be seen, but everybody was able to understand that poetry is not impossible.

We present our work to you now. Please understand that it is the work of a committee, and both suffers and is enriched for that. If it brings you pleasure then I ask you to thanks the sonneteers, and even better you might like to attempt a Sonnet in Praise of the Queen, for the next kingdom A+S Competition.

I remain your servant,


The Sonnet

"On Wooing"

  • Before, my heart entombed in deep despair,
  • Past weary in the search for pleasure mild.
  • Alone, I hoped for disposition fair.
  • On my trial Venus must herself have smiled!

  • Against this mighty task I should be bold
  • And strive as whomsoever essay to
  • Place on her hand a band of sparckling gold,
  • The circled finger therein that I woo.

  • In love from pauper to a prince I rise
  • Her spirit and fair grace; my heart breaks free!
  • Hoping to find fair judgement in her eyes,
  • My destiny with her is sure to be!

  • But I do languish in a coward's state
  • In envy of those who can seize their fate.