Tuesday, May 06, 2008

To sonnet, to sonnet

There's a new anthology of Canadian sonnets out and I'm looking forward to seeing it. Will it reflect the form's flexibility? Its ability to be shaped by any and all poets who care to engage in the form? This morning I came across the following in David Trinidad's new collection. Was I expecting to come across a crown of sonnets here? Not quite. But no one owns form. Thank God. And tone cannot be legislated. And form shouldn't be confused with taste.

We both wanted to look like Patti Smith
on her Horses album: disheveled, pale,
thin, intense. You were scanning Meredith's
"Modern Love" for British Lit. I thought stale
anyone before Sexton. You laughed, threw
back your head. I puffed a Marlboro Light.
In truth, you were too hearty, and I too
uptight, to do punk. I praised, as twilight
dimmed the gray valley, a poem you'd read
at the student reading: a pitcher cracks,
foreshadows a car crash. The skyline bled
behind you. I'd also read that night--racked
with stage fright, trembling uncontrollably.
You seemed at ease, more confident than me...

6 comments:

Hedgie said...

Please please please post whatever information you have about this collection -- anything that would help a soul buried in the Deep South of the U. S. lay hands on it somehow in someway.

Hedgie said...

Ah - HA! Jailbreaks and Re-creations: 99 Canadian Sonnets edited by Zachariah Wells and published by Biblioasis.

Oddly enough, it's available from Amazon.US but not immediately from Amazon.Ca.

Thanks for sending me out in search of this.

lemonhound said...

You beat me to it. As I say, I'm curious to see if it's actually representative of Canadian poetry.

Hedgie said...

It's apparently so new there don't seem to be any reviews as yet. Here (if I've coded things correctly) is a link to Biblioasis's webpage about the volume.

Amazon decided to rush the volume to me, even though I didn't order it that way, so I should have it in another day or so. I'll let you know how it seems to me when I get it.

Hedgie said...

My copy just arrived. I'd say, after a quick scan, that it represents a reasonable cross-section of the variety of which the sonnet form is capable, from formally strict pieces all the way to purely free-verse sonnets and any number of variations inbetween. Thank you for bringing this volume (and a number of its poets whom I'd not previously heard of) to my attention.

lemonhound said...

Thanks for the update. I'll keep an eye out.