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.





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.