I must have been feeling a little acrimonious when I penned this one. I’m still trying to decide whether To Verse, Or Free Verse. I think there can be a time and place for both. This poem, however, is just plain, frustrated, silliness.
I’ve been told that rhyming sonnets are about innocence and memory. I’ve been told that verse, after the infamous Gertrude Stein, should be left for nursery rhymes. It is true that Mother Goose nursery rhymes are quite easy to remember; they are so sing-song. And a nursery song can lull you to sleep with it’s repetitive comforts. A poem in verse can, also, become a meditation. It doesn’t hurt to be in a meditative state from time to time.
Pulitzer Prize (2011) winning poet Kay Ryan says of form, It’s like “wearing the wrong clothes.” If not meter, Ryan does use a lot of rhyming in her poems to give them a pleasing rhythm. Not end rhymes like in the sonnet I penned below, but very creative rhyming within her lines and throughout her poems in places you’d least expect. And she uses very uncanny rhymes at times, too. If you’ve never read Kay Ryan’s poetry you might enjoy checking out this talk recorded last year at Hugo House titled “Word Works: Kay Ryan on Rhyme.” I really enjoyed listening to Kay; she is very humorous – a great personality. The interview at the end of her talk is very enlightening.
I Don’t Think So
by Anni Johnson
To sing a sonnet song an easy task?
Our speech, I’m told, is natural to its ways.
If this is so, me thinks I’d rather bask
in book than work in alphabet for days.
While counting feet – da DUM – da DUM – is NOT
for the passionless at heart, a poem by Keats
will tease the mind to try untie the lot.
A successful sound will be found in beats:
A line of five in ten. And then you start
again – a one, and two, and three, and four,
and five. O dear! I fear you’ll think me smart
if I my teacher please with rhymes and more.
What thinks you, mentor? Pray, do tell. Did I
a sonnet bake? Or a poem to make you sigh?