Sonnets are a poem form that has 14 lines; three quatrains and a concluding couplet. They are almost always written in iambic pentameter as the poet's standard metrial pattern. This form of poetry came from medieval songs, where it was cultivated during the Renaissance. The term for the form is credited to the Sicilian poet Diacomo Da Lentini, and is derived from the Italian word sonneto. It flourished in Germany during the romantic period. Some poets are recognized for their work with sonnets, such as Longfellow, Shakespeare, E.A. Robinson, etc.
The course of my long life hath reached at last,
In fragile bark o'er a tempestuous sea,
The common harbor, where must rendered be
Account of all the actions of the past.
The impassioned phantasy, that, vague and vast,
Made art an idol and a king to me,
Was an illusion, and but vanity
Were the desires that lured me and harassed.
The dreams of love, that were so sweet of yore,
What are they now, when two deaths may be mine,--
One sure, and one forecasting its alarms?
Painting and sculpture satisfy no more
The soul now turning to the Love Divine,
That oped, to embrace us, on the cross its arms.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow