William Shakespeare wrote ’em. So did Francesco Petrarch, Edmund Spenser, William Butler Yeats, W. H. Auden, Edgar Allen Poe, and countless other poets. Now you want to write a sonnet (or have to — hello, English 101 students!)

Lucky for us, sonnets aren’t just a joy to read, they’re also easy to write. You just have to learn a few simple facts about what makes a poem a sonnet.

What is a sonnet?