Friday, November 20, 2020

Friday again: trash day, yoga-class day, pick-up-food-from-the-warehouse day; also rake-more-leaves and yank-out-frostbitten-garden-stuff day.

I spent all of yesterday morning working on my sonnet syllabus, and I think I'm in good basic shape now for the upcoming class. I plan to talk very little about meter and rhyme, to focus instead on other kinds of pressures moving through the poet's mind and hand. I want us to think about sonnets as enactments, not simply as formal patterns or as exercises in logic. What internal combustion makes a poet need to write a sonnet? 

* * *

Now I'm sitting quietly in my couch corner, letting my brain drift among the poems I read yesterday. Through the closed windows I hear the mutter of city traffic . . . an airplane, the highway, the train . . . In the house the clock ticks, the furnace growls, the cat sighs in his sleep. Sound, persistent as a drip: marking day and night; month, season, and year. A life.

* * *

Sonnet in Search of Poems I’ve Never Written


Dawn Potter

I’ve been meaning to write about a patch of mossy

frogs’ eggs in a vernal pool, about a single contrail

chalking a blue November sky, about the glossy

covers of biographies, about the tortuous tale


of an ant city under a scarred sidewalk, about two

lazy landscapers blowing leaves into a neighbor’s yard,

about falling in half-love with someone else’s youth,

about gobbling pie without a fork, about the barbs


of terrible hedges, about the anxiety of gifts, about my feet,

about the murmur of a radio, about leftovers congealing

in a pan, about oxen, about the loneliness of husking sweet

corn under the stars, about this sad white ceiling.


            But maybe I don’t need to bother inventing.

            Maybe you’ve already imagined this ending.

[first published in Vox Populi]


Ruth said...

So looking forward to our CPT/FRost Place weekend. Of course I am nervous about my writing, but also eager to dig in. Happy Day to you, Dawn.

Dawn Potter said...

That Dickinsonian draft you wrote in October still sings in my mind!