Beware the narrow-minded commissars,
So sure they know what makes a poem a poem,
academic framers of our objets d’art –
Don’t you sometimes wish they’d stayed at home!
Their works are often laboured, dull as dust
And often they forget a thing called meter
And worse: ideas so old they’re caked in rust
A bit of honest free verse might prove sweeter,
But no, they think since they can turn a rhyme
The rest of us must do it all the time !
This is a Grand Sonnetina (ababcdcdee)
Keep your gods and your myths,
your linguistic appliances –
your histories, mysteries
true and fake sciences.
Please leave me in peace
on this smoke-perfumed hill
Let me gulp down the sky –
let me drink in my fill –
where warm stone and I
lie as if cheek by jowl
’til the whole world turns purple
and night birds cry foul
I am not a strip of stripes
a strip of land, a strip of flesh,
fodder for a hungry cannon,
fool some banker might enmesh;
I am woman born to nourish
one man – and the planet’s young
so that species here might flourish
on this globe where life first sprung;
this my anthem, then – no others
will I sing in any tongue
’til all men claim all as brothers
’til the knell of war is rung.
line of schiller sung in Beethoven’s 9th
(I may be no schiller, but these lines actually fit the Ode to Joy )
Hardly a soul (not asleep) could have doubts that it’s true –
they don’t make commercials for one single thing that you need
or that gives you real pleasure (and anyway, such things are few)
no, the system that’s ruining the planet’s based solely on greed.
I’m a lover of dining and hardly the teetotaler type
but I try – as with most things – to live on a steadier keel
for the rest, I think fashion is mindless – a matter of hype –
I don’t care what you wear, but I do care about what you feel!
A wise man has one pair of shoes, having only two feet –
and no, I’m not tauting some gigantic wild overhaul –
I’m saying that some things are true and some even sweet
suggesting you make your own list – that you call your own call.
For starters, the absolute cream of this life has a name –
it’s loving a person whose feelings for you are the same.
Herewith, a new form I would display –
Eight lines short of the genuine article.
Not much, no – but more than a particle
for when you don’t have oodles to say.
Sonnetina is what I shall call my baby
[One day I’ll try for ten lines… maybe]
PS. Yes, and the two quatrains plus a couplet shall henceforth beknown as a Grand Sonnetina
It’s me ! It’s me ! I swear it is !
I know that robe and those green sleeves
I know the scene – just where it is –
right near the stage beneath the eaves.
It’s where we used to keep our stuff
to dress up and recite those plays –
For me there never was enough
of theatre games on rainy days.
The bracelet really was my sister’s
although she let me wear it mosttimes:
She said it was a string of blisters –
poet’s tongue with swollen rhymes.
The book ? I’d found it in the hall.
Its title ? I cannot recall…