Instead of a regular sonnet, 7/31/2012

I really do adore the way you write.

Your style is *graceful* - short and poised and true.
And so I bought a card the other night
And, having bought it, tried with all my might
To write a card as gracefully as you,
To imitate your voice, to forge your hand.

I botched a dozen drafts in ballpoint blue
And butchered several more before I knew
That all the words whose power I command
Had simply proved inadequate for this,
Could *not* achieve that grace that I demand.
No words sufficed.

Beloved, understand
That in the end I gave the card a kiss,
Addressed it to the woman that I love,
And mailed it to the woman that I miss.

In the beginning, this was an attempt at a regular sonnet, and I spent hours trying to hammer it into various meters: Shakespearean, Spenserian, Tiel's rubonnet ("Rubonnet?" See for yourself over at Knocking from Inside.) In the end, I did something I don't think I've ever done before - I invented a new meter.

I think of it as some kind of sonnet mutation; based around three quatrains, interlocking like a Spenserian one, but the quatrains are an inverted rubaiyy - ABAA instead of AABA. So the overall structure for the poem is ABAA BCBB CDCC.

If you adjust for formatting and count syllables, this actually has 15 verses. A... "classical" inverted Spenserian rubonnet should run ABAA BCBB CDCC EE, but that leaves the isolated D in the third quatrain, which felt sort of off; and I wasn't obeying classical rules of composition in any case. After some playing with DD and EE codas, I settled for a three-line DED to close the poem; and sent it.

It's an interesting meter, and I'll have to revisit it in the future.

No comments: