…as I found out this morning. I had forgotten to give its default title of “Sonnet” and so I noticed. “Oh my there is a post called ‘1914.” I don’t recall making that one! I wonder what it is?!?!?!?”
So I decided that since it named itself, I’d honor its choice of name. So… “Sonnet: 1914” it is!!!
I think now, that I would like it very much if my sweetheart were to suggest names for some of these unnamed sonnets that I might add in. And perhaps I’ll ask some of you to suggest some? That might be fun!
I have long thought that something happened to art–not just poetry, but all art–somewhere between the late 1890s to 1920. And strangely, it seems that 1914 can be marked as the date when everything changed. Historians from Toynbee onward have thought that this is “the year the world ended,” at least in a metaphorical sense. WW1, of course; but also, the Imagist movement in poetry, and similar movements in art began to ‘uglify’–to perhaps coin, or at the very least, reinforce, an already coined phrase–not just poetry, but all art. It just so happens that I noticed it in poetry because that was where, as a young man, my interests lay.
So since this sonnet is in some way related to this uglification, it is remarkable that it has chosen its own name to be 1914. And… once again, the act and art of sonnet writing causes the edification of the writer–although this time, it is in a most peculiar way.
To be fair, beautiful art did not truly go away, it just came to be called irrelevant by advocates of marx and other such denizens. Many among us will have heard of J. D. Salenger, for example, but very few will have heard of Irving Bacheller, who may have been the finest American writer of the 20th century, if not the finest in the English-speaking world. This was a man who wrote serious novels, and had often been a best seller many years running. He was even awarded a writing fellowship of some sort and/or some manner of honorary degree, or other–not that such things matter to me. Read some of his work, you’ll see what I mean. If you like Christmas stories, for example, try “Vergillius.” It should be free on gutenberg.org