To write a sonnet you must ruthlessly
strip down your words to naked, willing flesh.
Then bind them to a metaphor or three,
and take by force a satisfying mesh.
Arrange them to your will, each foot in place.
You are the master here, and they the slaves.
Now whip them to maintain a constant pace
and rhythm as they stand in even staves.
A word that strikes no pleasure?  Cast it out!
What use are words that drive not to the heart?
A lazy phrase? Discard it, shrug off doubt,
and choose more docile words to take its part.
A well-trained sonnet lives to entertain,
by making love directly to the brain.