Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Sonnets to My Jilted Lover (1)

So I started writing a sonnet sequence called, tentatively, Sonnets to My Jilted Lover. I took as an inspiration, of course, the Renaissance sonneteers, particularly Sidney's Astrophil and Stella and to a very peripheral extent Donne's Holy Sonnets. If you cannot tell from the title, this sequence inverts the sonnet convention; in this case, the speaker is the one who is spurning the lover.

While it would be all lies to say that this project did not occur to me as a result of a few different autobiographical events (eek--I dislike even mentioning the existence of such an autobiography on this blog), my impetus in writing it has very little do with excising wounds of any sort. I'll note that these most certainly are not written 'for' or 'to' any person in particular--or, at least not in the familiar sense. The energy I am using to write these sonnets is more philosophical, theological, or analytical than personal; perhaps that's why "sonnets" is less accurate than "sonnet-and-a-half." I haven't put much work into it, I'm afraid. Maybe the whole sonnet sequence thing isn't for me, or maybe I need to be truly lovesick (or guilt-ridden, as in this case) to produce something of this species.

But regardless! I am going to put up a (one) sonnet, for you to enjoy and critique. Seriously. I want feedback, even of the "I hate this. I hate poetry. I hate you." variety. Except obviously that's not true. If you write that, I won't allow it. But useful criticism will be just as or more welcome than carefully nice criticism.

OK, here we go.

Sonnetta numero 1:


I know you love me, dearest one of mine,
That you have set your heart out with the glass
Which sits upon the table, filled with wine,
And wait for me to drink instead of pass
As I have passed each day and night we tease.
I hear the ache inside your dancing words,
The whispered want contained by wild ease,
The innuendo penned like straining herds.
But while you knock my heartsick onto yours,
Although you promise all of what you are,
Despite my dreams of opening the doors
Into your house of houses, left ajar,
My heart is locked as sure as these dry lips
That will not take your champagne's sugared sips.

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