Hello all. Today was a cold, cold day as I made my way to Barnes & Noble. Such is fall/winter in Wisconsin. After I had got inside the store and warmed up, I sharpened my pencil and began to write. Today’s last two chapters were on the sonnet, that grand old form that served Shakespeare so well, and other miscellaneous “forms”.
I must be honest: I don’t like sonnets, and I’ll tell you why shortly. But, they come in two varieties, the Petrarchan sonnet and the Shakespearean sonnet. They both have fourteen lines, but the Petrarchan sonnet is differentiated by a rhyme scheme of ABBAABBACDECDE whereas the Shakespearean sonnet has a rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Really, that is all the difference I can find in the form, though each, perhaps, has its uses and themes that are better suited to pairs of rhymes or what not. I wrote one sonnet of each variety. The first, a Petrarchan, could also be called an ode, as it is written about a personal object that I so love.
The little man with yellow face and smile,
he stands upon my desk to greet the morn.
Though well he has been played; little worn
is he. His legs could walk a million miles,
his arms could lift a heavy plastic pile.
And should an arm or leg from body shorn
with careful reattachment he’s reborn
to last again some many little whiles.
But this tiny person is not too real:
he’s molded plastic, a child’s plaything,
minute and pallid, this man is but a fake.
Yet I like him and he has great appeal
to me. He and his kind, though small, are kings
of the playground. For him a world I’ll make.
The second sonnet, a Shakespearean, tells, at last, why I hate sonnets.
I Hate Sonnets
Though poet I am and poet remain
some forms of po-et-ry I do disdain
and try, as much as I can to refrain
from composing: the sonnet I abstain.
It’s overlong, and I don’t like the rhymes
Which come in separated pairs of ab
or cd or ef. And did I say the crimes
include a steady beat and meter drab?
Why it’s enough to drive the poet mad!
That is, if the poet’s me and not Bill
Shakespeare or, uh, Petrarch who both wrote scads
of poems in sonnetical form at will.
It seems, to some, like them, it’s easily wrote.
Apparently I got in the wrong boat.
Ha ha. I thus amuse myself.
The final chapter of my book, The Ode Less Traveled by Stephen Fry, as yes, I have at least reached the end, was on miscellaneous and sundry forms that are not, really, proper forms. There are the whimsical non-forms of ee cummings that seem to do whatever he wants them to do to fit the theme, and there are other poems by poets that make a shape to illustrate themselves. Finally there are forms for forms sake, such as the rictameter, which for no particular purpose is in the shape of a diamond. Here, I’ll demonstrate:
that a diamond
is a girl’s very best
and that to win her heart you must
buy one, ring one, set upon her finger
but I find it crass and capital
to buy love with a rock
See? Diamond themed AND diamond shaped. How bout that?
Lastly, I took a stab at an ee cummings type poem.
From here it
And there you have it. A dripping faucet.
I have very much enjoyed my poetical foraging, and for now I’ll put down the pencil. For one, next week is my sister’s wedding and I will be quite otherwise entertained, and for another, I’m done with my guidebook and must now think how to proceed without a set structure to follow. As always, I hope you enjoyed reading my poems.