Friday, December 10, 2010

so-net

A small book of sonnets by Australian poets, called Some Sonnets, edited by Tim Wright and made by him and friends, has just been reviewed by Richard Lopez. Richard says: "A few of these sonnets are in traditional form while the majority are experiments, like the nine-line poem quoted above, of the kind began by Ted Berrigan and even, might I suggest, John Berryman and with more than a dash of Gertrude Stein and a pinch Jackson Mac Low. I loved the lot of them."

The poets include Kate Fagan, Marc Jones, Patrick Jones, Sam Langer, Caroline Williamson, Nick Whittock, Joel Scott, Peter Minter, Michael Farrell, Derek Motion, Tim Wright, Jal Nicholl, Ella O’Keefe, Tom Lee, Brett Dionysius, Jessica L. Wilkinson, Peter O’Mara , Stu Hatton, Astrid Lorange, Stuart Cooke, Claire Gaskin, Ryan Scott, Cory Wakeling, Duncan Hose, Ted Nielsen and Jill Jones. It makes for a lot of Jonesies in one book. But that's cool, well, it has to be, and the book is cool.

Pam Brown also has some notes on Some Sonnets as part of a longer post about sonnets.

OK, my sonnet in Some Sonnets seems more 'lyrical' (these days that seems to be another way of saying you're naff, so be it, I own my own naffness) but it was from a series I'd been writing which uses and abuses Romantic and lyrical poetry tropes and fashions.

Here's a couple of my less Wo-Man-Tick or slyricall sonnets:

Seasonal Durance
At any end it’s about Durance
& title – tho’ calling a spade
A shovel near Xmas
Gets lost without party
Some years end in yellow
Some in smoky cumulus
This day is a slender Green
You can almost see the brush strokes

So holding on, like ‘holding the man’
Is hard
But we are not men!
Which leaves us Outside, our arms
Lifting the minutes of the Rest
& holding our own green

(from Dark Bright Doors)

And this which, yes, looks like a prose poem, but is a sonnet, was a sonnet, believe me, and was written after reading sonnets entitled ‘Prayer’, one by George Herbert and the other by Hartley Coleridge:

To Praise Air
It’s a raising of terrible peace, or desire in a wet eye.

It’s sky’s consideration, fall of slow patience, a private victim, the tender nipple, a sudden write-off, ventilating distant consequence, beyond paper, far and nothing — to have dreamed! — an engaged tone, desperation waked up, a cobalt tobacco, drugs, voiceless, a pilot’s appeal, shiver for brains, a page’s peroration beyond the paraphrase.

It’s last request, flanks of angel dust, one more gasp of ventolin, fucking, clamour, and tracks impelling towards the everything-machine, shooting dice, or unloading, elasticity, excess, things for the scared, a dreamer’s being, a basket of thrills, a damp reverie.

It’s something halting, included/ misunderstood/ for nothing/ but

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