11 Comments


  1. I agree that the English sonnet is usually an irritating form — elaborate, fussy, and unsuited to English — but I don’t know what the 16th Century being over has to do with it. Don’t mess with my dead people, man :-)

    This sounds like a great book, thanks!


    • Dale, you will out-crank me every time! Glad the high quality of the collection came through.


      • Ha! As soon as I read that first paragraph, I knew Dale would have something to say about it.


  2. Hi Dave–

    I’m sure there is a strong tradition of the half-drunk, half-sober review. I wonder in what century it began.

    Totally disagree regarding the sonnet. For me, it does not matter what forms or ostensible breakage or lack of forms floats your boat. It just matters that the poem works. It’s that dead simple for me.

    Of course, I headed back to form after growing bored with life without things like metrics and sometimes even rhyme, so we are looking at these issues from opposite ends of the telescope. Your boredom is not the same as my boredom.

    After Surrey and Wyatt kicked things off in English, we had great sonnets in the following century, skipped the one after that, and saw more great ones in the next and the one after that one. Skewed or unskewed, it still has life and challenges a great many poets even now.

    Also: it’s impossible to write a poem of 14 lines without it having some relation to the tradition.


    • Marly – Thanks for sharing your opinions. I have collected some notes toward an essay on free verse, but I don’t know if I’ll overcome my aversion to systematic thinking long enough to shape them into anything coherent. But yeah, we are, if not at opposite poles, certainly in very different places. And for me, that place keeps moving. Lately I find myself more drawn to “difficult” poetry than I used to be — for example, this morning’s Poetry Daily poem by Reginald Shepherd really hit the spot.


    • P. S. I completely forgot to say that you did a good job of responding to the book–enticing, as usual.


  3. So glad I could drive you to drink. I love you, man.

    Hey, it’s “a dull race the night always wins.”

    Speaking of winning, someone eager for a night of debauchery could actually win this book in the Big Poetry Giveaway for National Poetry Month! Sign up at my blog for that one, or, if you fear sonnets, at any number of participating poetry blogs this April!!


  4. Well Dave, your review worked. I want to acquire this chapbook. How/where?


    • Hi Andrea – Click on the cover image to go to a page I created for it in Open Library, which is a site that uses ISBN to pull data from a number of different sites (though sometimes there’s nothing there). Probably the publisher, Finishing Line Press, is your best bet, if you can find it on their ridiculous website. Or you can probably get a copy directly from the author!


  5. Yes, or at Babbitt’s Books. Or Amazon.com, which takes you back to FLP….


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