Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Everyone deserves fourteen lines

Same as the previous two poems; for a class, open poetry assignment. I'll write the backstory afterwards.

Everyone deserves fourteen lines

Everyone deserves fourtheen lines at least once,
but I reserve iambs for people I know.
I'd blazon you; luxuriate your lips' sheen,
your straight or curling hair, as if I knew.
Maybe we'll soon meet; maybe we already have
on the bus somewhere or across a counter,
as our hands brush with the movement of coins,
a clumsy oracle to a future consummation.
My fingers wander across the keys, looking
for your eyes in the aisle seat, your scent at the till
where you might wait for me and I for you,
but if we keep waiting our hands won't brush again.
I write you bottled sonnets and set them free
and maybe one day you'll send a map to our couplet.

As evident here and here, I sometimes take it upon myself to write sonnets for people I know, for kicks. Largely, the idea is to try writing a sonnet and see how well it goes. I like practicing word play. Anyway, I had to events approaching fairly simultaneously at the end of January/beginning of February this past year: an open poetry assignment and a blind date. So this sonnet started out as a sonnet to the date, who I wouldn't have known. However, the date fell through, so I addressed it instead to not just a complete stranger, but to someone I'd never met at all (or, maybe had).

The last three lines are not right. The professor for the course pointed that out for me (I hadn't noticed before): "These last three lines don't maintain the strength of the previous lines. The language is less complex, more conversational, and it breaks the tone." She is absolutely correct, and I will endeavour to fix that in time.

Finally, if you know anything about sonnets--esp. those by major Renaissance poets--I encourage you to look for references and allusions. But, then, if you know anything about sonnets--esp. those by major Renaissance poets--you already have.

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