Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Chickadees, finches and titmice are emptying our new feeder daily. It's joy to watch them as I work on summer poems for my children's poetry collection.

I'm creating a September poem now. I want it to reflect the loss of summer's freedom, to contrast with the other poems about a Maine summer. I'm using the Shakespearean sonnet form, which I hope conveys the return to serious endeavors and the rigidity of a school schedule. It also offers an opportunity to use form to contrast how the speaker feels about the end of summer.

It's my first sonnet. I'm trying to master iambic pentameter and create near rhymes instead of perfect rhyme. It's challenge because my natural rhythm seems to be tetrameter. Anna Boll's sonnet worksheet has been helpful. Thanks, Anna.

Mary Oliver (Rules of the Dance)writes that a sonnet's thought turns after an eight line statement(the octave)and reflects back on itself or comments on the statement in the last six lines (the sestet). I'm still working on that part! Here's the beginning:

My sneakers pinch like cramped crab shells, and yet
I lace them up. No bagel. I’ll be late.
I scuff down River Road while monarchs flit .
in milkweed fields to summer’s sweet heartbeat.

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