Sylvia Kruiniger, Rachel Haigh, Daniel Frank  

In this year’s sonnet competition, 1st-year students in an ‘Introduction to Advanced Literary Studies’ (IALS) lecture were given the first line ‘Hell’s Bells, why did it have to be me’ [an ACDC song title followed by an ABBA one], and were then asked to come up with a rhyme scheme for a Shakespearean sonnet collectively. They were then asked to ‘complete’ the sonnet individually in their own time. Given the end-rhymes, the contributions were of a very high quality! Here are the three winning entries.


Sylvia Kruiniger 1st Prize

Oh, Julie

Hell’s bells, why did it have to be me
At the end of the night stuck in the loos with Jules all alone?
She must have vommed the volume of a small sea!
The others are still watching Mr. Scruff shuffle that trombone.
I mean really… what did she eat that was purple?
Oh! Hello again Tesco Value cheese!
I can’t help but feel this night’s come full circle.

Ah alcohol, our nation’s favourite disease.
She drank tonight because for Simon she’d stripped naked
Whilst lying about how much she loved Daft Punk,
Sadly he thought the sight not so sacred
And told her he’s becoming a monk.
For this, her black bile shoots out like an arrow
And I look at my new shoes with sorrow.

Rachel Haigh 2nd Prize

It's not high literature

Hell's bells, why did it have to be me?
Left to write some sonnet all alone
It's not so hard, as anyone can see -
Unless they give you a word like 'trombone'.
Playing with half-rhymes, using 'purple'
Fitting in references to cheese.
My brain is spinning in a circle;
Iambic pentameter's catching, like a disease.
If only I could leave the rhymes out, naked
And stark, not needing to write 'punk'.
Isn't poetry art? Something sacred?
Yet still I have to end this line with 'monk'.
Poetry's meaning should come straight as an arrow
But contained in these lines, my sonnet's full of sorrow.

Daniel Frank 3rd Prize


Hell’s Bell’s, why did it happen to me?
I’m alright me, never usually alone.
Me, me, me, me, me. And you. Sea
salt, black pepper, crunchy nut, trombone,
avacado, freshly cut grass, calamari, purple
bruises. Things you used to like. Oh and cheese.
You used to follow small children, circle
them, pretend you were their mother. Disease/
‘meanness’/tongue rings and being naked.
Things you didn’t like. Oh and ironic punk.
“Not a fad, not a fashion!” Something “sacred”
You could empathise with a Benedictine monk
(“Or Nun!”)
You didn’t mind faith like an arrow.
Stubborn, bent on itself. Better than sorrow…



(c) 2006 University of Sheffield Department of English Literature :: designed by nagzaka :: maintained by Bunnyphobia