That the sonnet is still a fitting vehicle for people's poetic urges is well demonstrated by the following. And what variety of poetic urges we find here! The rules and structure of the sonnet did not hamper any of these voices. The whole goal of this experiment is perfectly summed up in a comment that Teri made when she sent me her sonnet.
"Such structure as the sonnet is...well...freeing."
A Transplant's Sonnet
by Teri Field
For what bright cause did I from you depart,
Whose people are pacific, strands are fair?
What vision saw I then that moved my heart,
To wander far and travel unaware
Of how disparate two tall trees can be?
This hearty Hemlock grows without the sun,
Defiant, e'en to God won't bend the knee!
His coldness bears the cold, and chill'd I run
Toward Eucalyptus scent stored in my mind;
In slender veins run healing hope where rot
Will not approach and drought will stumble blind.
This Tree I'll transplant here in my small plot
And while it shiv'ring braves with me the cold
We'll die to live and turn this green to gold.
Carving The Thanksgiving Turkeyan English Sonnet
Here I’m in the celebration of life;
counting out syllables for this sonnet,
thinking this is cutting like a sharp knife
at the bone, I hack to feast upon it.
As I open yet another quatrain,
peeling back the muscle of memories,
definitely turning against the grain,
yet seeing the juices flowing with ease,
the stomach to palate lets out a groan,
as hunger precedes a person enthralled,
a poetic bird roasted to atone,
with closing couplet to toast a resolve:
What revelation in all thanksgiving
kindled through an appetite for living.
The Coming Birth
by Doug P. Baker
With half my life behind me I begin
To feel myself alive in earth's warm womb.
I long to go and live within my tomb
For the tomb, I know, hides larger life within.
This womb so tight that patience seems a sin;
Is life's distress the footstep of my Groom?
As here in life close walls enclose my room,
I foetally fight, large life with him to win.
Yet fool I am to think that I by pains
Of my own labor shall come to light and life;
The labor pains another bears; remains
For me to grow until he calls me "wife."
What knew I in the womb of coming birth?
No more know I now, though I sense its worth.
Molecular Mood: A Sonnet
by Hans Ostrom
Molecular in nature were the two,
For they were human, and therefore made
Of carbon, protein, fat--the usual stew
Of which stuff in this matter, fact, is said
By scientists to be composed. But how
Does one molecular composite reach
The point at which it loves, the point called Now
Wherein one body-mind, by means of speech,
Decides and then declares this thing called Love,
A concept generated by uncounted other
Molecular composites, the stuff of
Which Civilization's made? Whatever.
The she loves him; the he loves her. Their cells
Conspire to cast reciprocating spells.
by Joe Tremblay
Happy is he who does not lend an ear
to wicked men, but rather takes delight
to think upon the law of God each night
and day. In pride the sinners sit and sneer,
not knowing that this man of hope grows near
to God, like tree roots reach to the invite
of water running from the source; no blight
will strike its leaves, and fruit will bear each year.
Not so, the wicked, not so! These men can
not stand in company with all the just;
but fitting judgment blows away their bloom
of life, now dried, corrupted, into dust.
The Lord God guards the path of the just man;
the wicked path will always lead to doom.
Sonnet for a Sister
by Rosa Edholm
Powerful as the wings of the eagle,
Steadfast as the heavenly stars;
I hear your voice in the songs of the hills,
Resonating near me, however far.
Your perished body cannot dim your soul;
Day by day an answer I have sought,
I now let myself behold the truth, whole:
So that I could live, Sister you could not.
Still, your beautiful spirit surrounds me,
Bringing my murmured prayers up through the skies;
You clear my clouded eyes that I might see,
And again from the ashes I shall rise.
I am restored by the Love that is you
As a blade of grass drinks the morning dew.