Today’s poem is taken from The Penguin Book of Women’s Poets. Back in the 1980s, I worked at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library & I used to borrow this book all the time – it was a major influence on my poetry at the time. A few years ago, I found it at a used book store & immediately scooped it up. It remains one of my favorite collection of poetry.
This sonnet is by Louise Labé. She is one of the greatest poets of the French Renaissance.
Labé, Louise. “XX”. The Penguin Book of Women Poets. Edited by Carol Cosman, Joan Keefe & Kathleen Weaver. NY: Penguin Books, 1979. poem found on page 110.
Today’s poem is from The Reality Street Book of Sonnets. When I Googled the poet, I was very sad to find out that John Gibbens had died of cancer in 2015. He wrote numerous books of poetry, as well as writing songs, and working on Fleet Street as a sub-editor.
I think this poem is brilliant.
References. Gibbens, John. “From Underscore”. The Reality Street Book of Sonnets. Edited by Jeff Hilson. Hastings: Reality Street Editions, 2008. poem found on page 249.
Today’s poem is by Mary Robinson, a prolific British poet of the eighteenth century. She was also an actress, a dramatist & an all-around celebrity. She published fourteen volumes during her lifetime; two books were published after her death at age 43 in 1800.
Robinson, Mary. “Sappho and Phaon 24”. 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 100.
Today’s poem is by Lisa Jarnot. She’s another Buffaloian & studied with Robert Creeley at the State University at New York at Buffalo (the reason I went to UB, although I was immediately sidetracked by the great local music scene Buffalo had in the late 1970s). She received a MFA from Brown University, where she worked with the poet Robert Duncan. She currently lives in Queens, NY. In addition to writing poetry, she is an avid gardener. She is currently going to seminary to become a minister. Her poetry is filled with color and life. I never get tired of reading her words.
Jarnot, Lisa. “Stein Meat Work”. The Reality Street Book of Sonnets. Edited by Jeff Hilson. Hastings, Suffolk: Reality Street Editions, 2008. poem found on page 316.
Sunday Sonnet returns with a poem from Robert Frost. I think that as American poets go, Robert Frost is probably our finest craftsmen & you can’t go wrong studying his poetry.
“Acquainted With The Night” is from The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English, edited by Phyllis Levin. You can find the poem on page 171.
This poem is best read out loud.
Frost, Robert. “Acquainted With The Night”. The Penguin Book of Sonnets: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English, edited by Phyllis Levin. NY: Penguin Books, 2001.
Another poem from The Reality Street Book of Sonnets. As usual, I just opened the book & this is what I found. Poetic bibliomancy, in a way. There’s always a message!
This sonnet is by Philip Kuhn. I know absolutely nothing about him but of course, there’s always Google. I like that he wrote sonnets about Schubert sonatas. Sonnets – sonatas.
Kuhn, Philip. “sent three sonnets for schubert sonatas”. The Reality Street Book of Sonnets. edited by Jeff Hilson. Hastings: Reality Street Editions, 2008. Poem found on page 210
A poem from The Reality Street Book of Sonnets. Once again, I just opened the book & this is what I saw.
Edwards, Ken. “Darkly Slow”. The Reality Book of Sonnets. edited by Jeff Hilson. Hastings: Reality Street, 2008. poem found on page 187.
Gwendolyn Brooks has been a favorite poet of mine since I was a young teen. This is from the anthology, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, edited by Phillis Levin.
Brooks, Gwendolyn. “Gay Chaps at the Bar”. The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English, edited by Phyllis Levin. Poem found on page 227.
I just opened up the book & found this poem. Never heard of this poet before today. (Of course, I am more into women poets than men poets, what can I say). But this is a cool poem. Frank Bidart, I’ll have to remember that name.
Bidart, Frank. “Self-Portrait, 1969”. The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology. Edited by Edward Hirsch & Eavan Boland. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. poem found on page 263.
Something different! A “reverse” sonnet, by Rubert Brooke.
Brooke, Rubert. “Sonnet Reversed”. The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology, edited by Edward Hirsch & Eavan Boland. NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. page 190.