Thursday, November 09, 2006

On Writing Sonnets

Last week a very dear friend sent me a gift in the mail: Mark Jarman's Unholy Sonnets. I've been reading through these with a great deal of admiration. Sonnets--well done sonnets--fascinate and impress me. Personally, I very much enjoy writing sonnets, but am entirely unable to write serious ones. There is something about the form that for me invites absurdity in the act of composition. It's very sad. Truly.

Raining Cats and Frogs

When angels weep and startled toads descend
from out the cloud-veiled heavens in a burst
of rain, I strain in efforts to defend
my brain from overload. Unless we’re cursed
with Egypt’s ancient plagues I can’t see how
amphibians can shower from above.
And why not larger beasts (perhaps a cow)
the cherubs out of heaven thus might shove?
Still, since these frogs are croaking ‘round my feet
the best of it I set myself to make.
T’refuse angelic bounty is not meet,
so I will set aside my taste for steak
and, putting to good use what hast been given,
will glut on frog-legs lightning-fried in heaven.