Sunday Sonnet

It’s the return of the Sunday Sonnet! & yes, even though it’s Easter Sunday, I swear on everything that’s holy that I did not choose this poem because of its spiritual subject matter; as usual, I just opened up one of my poetry books & there it was.

Today’s poem was written by Gerald Manley Hopkins, who is pretty much forgotten, unless you’re an English major & even if you’re studying English literature, you might miss him because he’s just not cool enough for the woke crowd determining what’s being studied on collage campuses nowadays.

Apparently, Hopkins wasn’t cool enough for his own time; he only became famous after his death, like so many romantic poets.

References

Hopkins, Gerland Manley. “Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend”. The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English, edited by Phillis Levin. NY: Penguin Books, 2001. poem found on page 151.

Sunday Sonnet

I hate to repeat myself with a poet but I opened the book of poetry & here was a poem by Robert Frost & I was like … YEAH! I can identify with this! So sorry about about posting another poem by Robert Frost. I mean … it’s not like he was any kind of amateur or anything.

The thing is … I don’t stay up all night anymore … I go to bed early & get up early … but often, I wake up in the middle of the night & have a bowl of Cheerios & a cup of Sleepy Time tea & a nice doobie & do a bit of writing & then I go back to bed … I love the night. I’ve always loved the night. I love being up in the middle of the night. I love the dark. I’m not one of those people who hate the dark. I don’t get SADD in the winter … I look forward to the coming of the darkness in the fall & the winter. I actually get summer SADD when it’s light & bright for hours on end. I hate how it’s light until 8 or 9 in the evening! I love the dark & I love the night. Yeah, I do love the sunlight but I’m happier when it’s dark.

Yes, I am quite acquainted with the night & I love the night. Even if it’s the dark morning at 4 or 5 a.m. & I’m making my coffee & my oatmeal. I love the dark & the night.

References

Frost, Robert. “Acquainted With The Night”. The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English. Edited by Phillis Levin. NY: Penguin Books, 2001. poem is found on page 171.

Sunday Sonnet ~ Armistice Day Edition

Today’s poem is by Wilfred Owen, one of the best-known poets of World War One. A good friend of fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon, Owen was killed in action only a few days before the Armistice was signed, his poems were published posthumously in 1920.

He was anti-war & his poems reflected his pacifist views.

I pulled this poem from World War One British Poets: Brooke, Owen, Sassoon, Rosenberg and Others, edited by Candace Ward.

References.

Owen, Wilfred. “Anthem for Doomed Youth.” World War One British Poets: Brooke, Owen, Sassoon, Rosenberg and Others, edited by Candace Ward. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1997. poem is found on page 25.

Sunday Sonnet

Today would have been John Keats’ 226th birthday. He died at age 25 of tuberculosis. Like many poets, he became famous after his death & by the early 1900s, he was one of the best-loved poets of the English language.

I studied Keats, among other poets, in an English Romanticism class I took in 2009 when I was pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo. This poem is from the Keats text we used in that class.

References

Keats, John. “Sonnet. – To Sleep”. Keat’s Poetry and Prose. Selected and Edited by Jeffrey N. Cox. NY: Norton & Company, Inc., 2009. poem is found on page 346.

Sunday Sonnet

Today’s poem is from The Reality Street Book of Sonnets & it’s by Mary Ellen Solt, one of the leaders of the “concrete poetry” movement, which was very influential at the State University of New York at Buffalo Department of English, where I took numerous poetry classes & participated in more than one poetry workshop.

This has got to be one of the most far-out poem I’ve ever seen. I can’t say “read” because how do you read something like this? But it’s so fucking cool!

Check out the small print at the bottom of the scanned page, which explains the poem.

References

Solt, Mary Ellen. “Moon Shot Sonnet”. The Reality Street Book of Sonnets. Edited by Jeff Hilson. Hastings, East Sussex: Reality Street Editions, 2008. Poem is found on page 26.

Sunday Sonnet

Today’s poem is by novelist & poet & librettist Janet Loxley Lewis, born in Chicago, Illinois in 1899 & died in Los Altos, California in 1998. According to The Poetry Foundation, she considered poetry “superior” to prose. Her first book was published in 1922 & she was publishing into the 1990s.

I have been to the place she describes in this poem, alas, all too briefly.

References

Lewis, Janet. “Carmel Highlands”. The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology. Edited by Edward Hirsch & Eavan Boland. NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. poem can be found on page 207.

The Poetry Foundation. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/janet-loxley-lewis

Sunday Sonnet

Today’s poem is from The Art of the Sonnet, edited by Stephen Burt & David Mikics. This is the book that made me want to write nothing but sonnets.

I am sure that you have heard of Rita Dove. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1987; she was the United States Poet Laureate from 1993-1995; and the the Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004-2006, as well as winning numerous other awards & accolades. She currently teaches at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

She has been one of my favorite poets for many years.

References.

Dove, Rita. “Party Dress for a First Born.” The Art of the Sonnet. edited by Stephen Burt & David Mikics. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010. poem is found on page 377.

Sunday Sonnet

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a Sunday Sonnet … I apologize. Today’s poem is by Hartley Coleridge, the son of the much more famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

I admit that I found this poem simply by opening The Penguin Book of the Sonnet & there was the poem. Somewhat like bibliomancy. I had never read this poem before; indeed, I had never heard of Hartley Coleridge, although I am a great fan of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Here is the poem:

References.

Coleridge, Hartley. “To A Friend”. The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English. Edited by Phillis Levin. NY: Penguin Books, 2001. poem found on page 114.

Sunday Sonnet

Today’s poem is from the second edition of the Feminist classic, No More Masks! : An Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Women Poets, edited by Florence Howe. This is a updated version of the 1973 edition of No More Masks! but with many more poets featured; however, some of the fine feminist poets found in the 1973 declined to be included in the second edition.

I chose a poem that wasn’t in the first edition. This is by Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar-Nelson, who lived from 1875 to 1935 & who was married to the poet Paul Dunbar-Nelson. They were both prominent in the Harlem Renaissance.

References

Dunbar-Nelson, Alice Ruth Moore. “To Marie Curie”. No More Masks! : An Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Women Poets. Edited & with an Introduction by Florence Howe. NY: HarperPerennial, 1993. Poem is found on page 16.