What Is the Name of a 14-Line Poem?

The sonnet is the name of the most well-known 14-line poem type; however, not all 14-line poems have names. There are two main types of sonnets: Shakespearean and Petrarchan, or Italian and English, respectively.

The 14-line Petrarchan sonnet, so named after its creator Petrarch, is divided into two sections: an octave (the first eight lines), followed by a sestet (the next six lines). While the rhyme pattern of the sestet changes, the octave has a fixed rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA.

Shakespeare changed the sonnet to make it grammatical in English. The Shakespearean sonnet is divided into three groups of four lines known as quatrains, and a final couplet. Shakespeare’s sonnet is written in iambic pentameter and contains the rhyme pattern ABABCDCDEFEFGG.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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