Network Working Group W. Shakespeare
Request for Comments: 1605 Globe Communications
Category: Informational 1 April 1994
SONET to Sonnet Translation
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.
Because Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) transmits data in frames
of bytes, it is fairly easy to envision ways to compress SONET frames
to yield higher bandwidth over a given fiber optic link. This memo
describes a particular method, SONET Over Novel English Translation
In brief, SONNET is a method for compressing 810-byte (9 lines by 90
bytes) SONET OC-1 frames into approximately 400-byte (fourteen line
decasyllabic) English sonnets. This compression scheme yields a
roughly 50% average compression, and thus SONNET compression speeds
are designated OCh-#, where 'h' indicates 50% (one half) compression
and the # is the speed of the uncompressed link. The acronym is
Mapping of the 2**704 possible SONET payloads is achieved by matching
each possible payload pattern with its equivalent Cerf catalog number
(see , which lists a vast number of sonnets in English, many of
which are truly terrible but suffice for the purposes of this memo).
Basic Transmission Rules
The basic transmission rules are quite simple. The basic SONET OC-1
frame is replaced with the corresponding sonnet at the transmission
end converted back from the sonnet to SONET at the receiving end.
Thus, for example, SONET frame 12 is transmitted as:
When do I count the clock that tells the time
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls,...
For rates higher than OC-1, the OC-1 frames may either come
interleaved or concatenated into larger frames. Under SONNET
conversion rules, interleaved frames have their corresponding sonnet
representations interleaved. Thus SONET frames 33, 29 and 138 in an
OC-3 frame would be converted to the sequence:
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
When my loves swears that she is made of truth
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
I do believe her, though I know she lies
Kissing with golden face...
while in an OC-3c frame, the individual OC-1 frames concatenated, one
after another, viz.:
Full many a glorious morning have I seen Flatter the mountain-
tops with sovereign eye Kissing with golden face...
When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, I all alone
beweep my outcast state,...
When my loves swears that she is made of truth I do believe her,
though I know she lies...
(This example, perhaps, makes clear why data communications experts
consider concatenated SONET more efficient and esthetically
It is critical in this translation scheme to maintain consistent
timing within a frame. If SONET frames or converted sonnets shift in
time, the SONET pointers, or worse, poetic meter, may suffer.
 Cerf, B., "A Catalog of All Published English Sonnets to 1950",
Random House, 1953. (Now out of print.)
Security issues are not discussed in this memo.
London, United Kingdom
Any suggestions that this, or any other work by this author, might
be the work of a third party such as C. Marlow, R. Bacon, or
C. Partridge or based on a previously developed theme by
P.V. Mockapetris are completely spurious.