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A sonnet is a 14-line poem that has a specified layout of three, four-line stanzas, followed by a two-line stanza at the end (the two-line stanza is called a couplet). Each line of a sonnet is of the iambic pentameter form - each line has five pairs of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Sonnets can have several different rhyming schemes. Here is an example of a sonnet by William Shakespeare:

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself, and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,

Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.