Follow-Up on Teaching Sonnets | Wanderings in the Labyrinth

Andrew
Aug 22, 2013 @ 10:15:42

One thing at a time. :-)

It’s been my experience that students can count syllables, and get 10 syllables into a line, far easier than they can match the iambic pentameter. The iambic pentameter only came for me after about thirty sonnets — so I think it’s less of a priority. We want students to get over three hurdles first: writing fourteen lines, writing a rhyme scheme, and writing ten syllables in a line. The iamb can come later, because it’s a “sounds like this” issue, which gets solved by kids who care about writing more than one or two.

I could have sworn that it was Dershowitz, but it’s now been at least a decade since I read the report, and the name of the lawyer has long since escaped me. It was about the time of the O.J. Simpson trial, as I recall, or before, so it may not be on the Web — given that it was 1994. It was a profile of a prominent lawyer of the era, might have been Harper’s magazine or The Atlantic…

As for your sonnet sequence, I like it. It conveys feelings of doubt and uncertainty, and solitude; but it’s very much rooted in internal feeling and abstract language, rather than in the macrocosmic world of objects and things and processes. I tend to lean more into the world of objects than you, but it may be an advantage in the poetry world these days.

via Follow-Up on Teaching Sonnets | Wanderings in the Labyrinth.

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Sonnet VII: Gilded Fire

What gilded fire hast thou within me lit
When once thou hast so deep thy fingers prest;
What hale, such perfection doth acquit
When light-acquainted fire doth bestow?

From lightest dost thou brush, to deepest touch;
For verge thou mee as though of thine possessed:
From out thy mastery, ownership as such
For mee, this fiery lightning set aglow.

May’ once, an I escape thee, light as well;
Might fire as hast thou lit be thus expressed;
May’ hearty lightning mine, and flame impel;
Might I, thine elements alight, thee know?

Can I, thy lightning’s fyre, reflect as blest;
Come I, as thy desire shall overflow?

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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Sonnet: A Key

I love thee so, my sweetest, do I close
Up my romantic soul, and lock away
Its delicate embrace of thee I chose.

And for your sake, my children, shall I hide
Away its key; that none should see its truth
While every day I brave this worldly sway.

And yet, for me, the romance of my youth
Is sore alive, in all that I provide;
As, for thy comfort, every tree I fell;

Until–my wish at last–shall come the day
When all are safe, and everything is well.
My calloused hands, mine axe, shall lay aside;

This key, my soul’s romantic door, display
To thee, and to our children, love and pride.

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Sonnet IV: Her Dance

Curious, the rain whence cometh down,
She falleth soft in overwhelming drops;
In peace, her quietly pervading sound
Transformeth sun and moon–so uninvited.

Strange, that once her drops, when they invade,
As former they, her forest’s ardour stops;
Though cities in the stead of trees pervade
And held as quiet sway–so unexcited.

Pleasing, how again she doth return
Such streets and buildings, parking lots and shops;
To older days  for which they seem to yearn,
So mixt with all her fallen tears–united.

Older she than land they wrest; her crops,
If brick or straw are we–and unrequited.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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Sonnet V: Redoubt

All was given, everything was left,
And every hope would swell that I redeem
With nothing taken out; and when I deftly
Built up my redoubt, I felt returning

All that gifted, everything that stood
To gain and give me gain in my esteem
In every way in which such profit could
So bolster my redoubt, my feared concern

That some were not as they appeared; that next
To me–so closely held to my extreme
So close my sense of safety had been vexed
To lay such siege, my hasty need to learn

How best to live within a fading dream
When once confessed, received, but did not earn.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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Sonnet IX: The Damned

Sell all your daughters and enslave your sons;
And pray they find a swift mortality;
Loot boys of childhood, strapped to bombs and guns;
And stone the little girls, once made you smile;

And close your eyes or turn your back; destroy,
Make hard your heart, to this reality;
Unclothe your helpless infant girls and boys
And mutilate them all; deaf to this vile

Lament; and let their wailing be the first
As worship to their god’s brutality;
Your agonising life and theirs is cursed;
Kindness… mercy… and love… are all a trial.

Unchained, you’ll wish a stranger peace and life;
Most likely on your way to stone your wife.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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