For you noders who are seeking the occasional alternative to Eat Poop You Cat, we present The Sonnet Game,
  • at least 2 players
  • 1 sheet paper, per person, per round
  • 1 writing utensil, per person
  • 15-20 minutes time, per round
    Recommended, but not necessary:
  • 1 strong sense of humor and wit, per person
  • alcohol, enough to go around

Play is simple: Each participant writes 14 words, following the rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean Sonnet (though other forms of sonnet would also work): ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Papers are exchanged (passed to the left, shuffled up and distributed randomly, doesn't really matter). Each player then writes a sonnet using the words provided at the end of each line. This should take 10-15 minutes. At the end papers are collected and read aloud, to the (hopeful) merriment of the rest of the group.

This game is really quite fun in the right company. Alcohol is recommended but not in massive quantities. Enough to inspire bawdiness, but not enough to cloud the tongue, is the recommended quantity...

For those who may not remember, or have never known, a Shakespearean sonnet is a 14 line poem written in Iambic Pentameter, with the rhyme scheme given above. This sounds much more intimidating than it actually is. Iambic pentameter just means that every line has 10 syllables, and theoretically the stresses fall on the even numbered syllables. Don't worry too much about that part though.

Sonnet Game Samples

Here are a few sonnets taken from Sonnet Game sessions:

Sonnet 1: Divorce
words: fickle sheaf sickle 'neath queue graft rue laugh minor wait finer sate hardest harvest

    When love (so often) grows sour and fickle
    And lawyers serve a thick and sorry sheaf
    Gavels come to stand more as a sickle
    Property usurps heart's domain from 'neath
    Children! when you stand in Hizzoner's queue
    You ne'er forget a small token of graft
    Else promptly you shall have a cause to rue
    And watch old lover laugh and laugh and laugh
    If a bribe to you seems all too minor
    You merely have a more difficult wait
    Rewards due are richer and the finer
    For true wounds only time can bring to sate
    Ex-lover's pain must surely be the hardest
    So why do lawyers reap all the harvest?

Sonnet 2: Love
Words: flush corpse lush Norse Thor taboo sore Baboo pillow schnoz minnow laws roseate pearly gate

    Within his cheeks there bloomed a vivid flush
    On glimpsing what he'd gleened to be a corpse
    The grasses round grew thick and green and lush
    And Odin gazed upon his lover Norse
    With strength and vigor bestowed on him by Thor
    He consumated this love quite taboo
    And though assured the prone one would be sore
    He took him thrice, whisp'ring "My sweet Baboo"
    With decorated shield he made a makeshift pillow
    On which he placed the viking's chopped-off schnoz
    And resting there, his heart swimmed like a minnow
    In penitence, and reviewing Viking laws
    Then with his sword from sheath stained black and roseate
    Od'n cut his path to Norseman's pearly gate

Sonnet 3: The Hero
Words: town drink down think loss kilt cross hilt muse debunk abuse drunk blow go

    Afore I landed in this lumber town
    I prayed myself a welcome place to drink
    East and West across, North, South, Up and Down
    I sat myself aside a lass to think
    A win to wait, to wait a thing of loss
    I thought upon my seat spread wide with kilt
    The maiden fair whose path was mine to cross
    Looked fondly on my hand, wrapped round the hilt
    She eyed me as if she were once my muse
    And all my petty trials she would debunk
    My sense of wanderlust she did abuse
    And filled me with a harmful kind of drunk
    I dealt her then at once a fatal blow!
    And to the arbor, sanguine, I did go

If you play the game, please add the best bits to this node, as an inspiration to others...