Sunday Sonnet

in memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, rest in power forevermore

from The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology, edited by Edward Hirsch & Eavan Boland. This poem can be found on page 175.


Hirsch, Edward & Eavan Boland, editors. The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology. NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2018.

Sunday Sonnet

This is a sonnet by Edmund Spenser, from his Amoretti sonnet sequence. I scanned this from The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English, edited by Phillis Levin & published by Penguin Books in 2001.

Sunday Sonnet

William Shakespeare is as well-known for his sonnets as his plays.  Here is Sonnet 138, which addresses the lies that lovers tell one another.  I scanned it from “The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology”, edited by Edward Hirsch & Eavan Boland.



Sunday Sonnet

I have several books dedicated to sonnets & The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology, edited by Edward Hirsch & Eavan Boland is one of my favorites.  I’m not even sure where I got this book.  I think at some used book store in New England, when I was living there a few years ago.  But I don’t remember.  I collect so many books, especially collections of sonnets.  I really love the sonnet form.


I have always loved Norton anthologies.  I have a bunch of them.  They’re the best.  Not only do they have a great collection of literature within their covers, but they also have really great analysis of the poems, stories, essays.

As for this this collection, I can open up this book to any page & find a wonderful poem to read … to recite out loud … to share with a friend … it’s the most wonderful book.  ALL my sonnet books are great but this is one of the very BEST.

So for today … this is the sonnet I’m sharing.  & I just opened up the book!  I didn’t plan ahead or anything.  Here it is:




Ya know, I don’t even care about the rhyme scheme or anything.  This is sublime.  & it’s so lovely to write poems to poets that you love.  I’m so happy that I read this poem today & that I was able to share this with you.  (or you’s … I’m from Buffalo, after all).


Hirsch, Edward & Boland, Eavan. The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.




Sunday Sonnet

Sonnet I from “Ammoretti” by Edmund Spenser.

Edmund Spenser is best known for his epic poem/allorgorical fantasy “The Faerie Queene”, which celebrates Queen Elizabeth I and the Tudor dynasty.   It’s a triumph of poetic ass-kissing IMHO.   The form of the poem has come to be called the “Spenserian” Sonnet.

I much prefer his sonnet cycle, “Ammoretti”, which is not quite as well-known as “The Faerie Queene”.  However, the sonnets are beautiful love poems dedicated to Elizabeth Boyle, a woman he married in 1594.  They were passionately in love, a condition that usually didn’t accompany marriage in those days in the upper or even the middle classes. Marriage was a business arrangement.

This is the first sonnet in the cycle.  If you wish to read all the poems, click on this link ~~~>

Happy ye Leaves, whenas those lilly Hands,
Which hold my Life in their dead-doing Might,
Shall handle you, and hold in Love’s soft Bands,
Like Captives trembling at the Victor’s Sight.
And happy Lines, on which with starry Light,
Those ramping Eyes will deign sometimes to look,
And read the Sorrows of my dying Spright,
Written with Tears in Heart’s close bleeding Book,
And happy Rimes bath’d in the sacred Brook
Of Helicon, whence she derived is,
When ye behold that Angel’s blessed Look,
My Soul’s long-lacked Food, my Heaven’s Bliss.
Leaves, Lines, and Rimes, seek her to please alone;
Whom if ye please, I care for other none.





Sunday Sonnet

Thomas Wyatt wrote this about Anne Boleyn, whom he knew from early childhood & loved.  Although he was accused of being one of her lovers, he escaped the executioner.  He died of a fever of 1542 at the age of thirty-nine.  This sonnet is scanned from the book, The Art of the Sonnet, edited by Stephen Burt & David Mikics.  It’s one of my favorite poetry books.


Copyright 2010 by the President & Fellows of Harvard College


The 5:32 by Phyllis McGinley


image found at


The 5:32

She said, If tomorrow my world were torn in two,

Blacked out, dissolved, I think I would remember

(As if transfixed in unsurrendering amber)

This hour best of all the hours I knew:

Children scuffing the seats, and the women driving

With ribbons around their hair, and the trains arriving,

And the men getting off with tired but practiced motion.


Yes, I would remember my life like this, she said:

Autumn, the platform red with Virginia creeper,

And a man coming toward me, smiling, the evening paper

Under his arm, and his hat pushed back on his head;

And the wood smoke lying like haze on the quiet town,

And dinner waiting, and the sun not yet gone down.


Letters Of The Unliving by Mina Loy


Mina Loy by Man Ray.  Image found at


Letters Of The Unliving


The present implies presence
unauthorized by the present
these letters are left authorless —
have lost all origin
since the inscribing hand
lost life.

The harshness of the past
from creased leaves
covered with unwritten writing
since death’s erasure
of the writer —
erased the lover

Well-chosen and so ill-relinquished
the husband heartsease —
acme of communion —

made euphonious
our esoteric universe.

Ego’s oasis now’s
the sole companion.

My body and my reason
you left to the drought of your dying:
the longing and the lack
of a racked creature
to an unanswering hiatus
‘reunite us!’

till slyly
patience creeps up on passion
and the elation of youth
dwindles out of season.

ends in an equal grave
with ecstasy.

An uneasy mist
rises from this calligraphy of recollection
documenting a terror of dementia.

This package of ago
creaks with the horror of echo.

The bloom of love
to decay by the finger
of Hazard the swindler —
deathly handler who leaves
no post-mortem mask
but a callous earth.

Posing the extreme enigma
in my Bewilderness
can your face excelling Adonis
have ceased to be
or ever have had existence?

With you no longer the addresser
there is no addressee
to dally with defunct reality.

Can one who still has being
be inexistent?

I am become
in answer
to your dead language of amor.

of life’s imposture
implies no possible retrial
by my present self —
my cloud-corpse
beshadowing your shroud.

The one I was with you:
inhumed in chasms.
No creator
reconstrues scar-tissue
to shine as birth-star.

But to my sub-cerebral surprise
at last on blase sorrow
dawns an iota of disgust
for life’s intemperance:

‘As once you were’

Withhold your ghostly reference
to the sweet once were we.

Leave me
my final illiteracy
of memory’s languor —

my preference
to drift in lenient coma
an older Ophelia
on Lethe.