Tuesday, August 12, 2008

sonnet: step-wise tale

Bravo Jeet!   where your sonnet hits
the mark of the form's particular
potential   it encourages
reply-in-kind   if vehicular's
all language   whither ventures
the car that tools on syllables?
mightn't heart's long indentures
be anon paid   like parables
via journey's step-wise tale
past dark pools but lightly?
till the final parting veil
(after many lives or nightly)
strikes the deft term   connotive
of felicity's   pure motive


A reply-poem, to one by Jeet Thayil (circulated as a note on Facebook), namely:


      Two reasons I like writing sonnets—
      and why two, why not fourteen
      good reasons, the shape compact and clean
      on the page, why not, since we’re on it?
      Well, one, I like the way it leads
      you by the hand down the measured stair
      of the page, leaves you resting on air
      as on an armchair, while someone reads
      to you the words you want to own.
      Two, I want to say something about bliss.
      I like bliss. And if I had to narrow it down
      to a couplet, I’d narrow it down to this:
      You start with a line and follow it through,
      the sonnet writes the sonnet, not you.

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