Monday, August 07, 2006

Quick Sonnets Again

Here’s all the 15-minute sonnet attempts so far. At least, these are the ones I know about. If I’ve missed yours, let me know:

Sorlil
Eloise
C.E. Chaffin
Julie
Harry’s 1st
Harry’s 2nd
Pffa thread

And here’s a second effort by me. I started off really quickly and thought I was going to do it, but somehow ended up taking 27 minutes. This clearly isn’t good enough. Next time I’ll have to try something easy, like a comic sonnet about a cat stuck up a tree:

My Soul

We’re only bones wrapped up in skin, unless
the soul exists. But what’s a soul, if not
a vibrancy that hasn’t yet been bought
by gifts, or sold out to false consciousness?

Many years ago I dressed in black
and smoked Gitanes. My soul wisped in the air
amid the indie disco gloom, a crack
in teenage existentialist despair,

but not a bright light or an open door.
I married once, then twice, and found that love
is fragile as a soul’s façade, and more
complex than any trinity above.

My soul is fickle, wound in song and string,
in vacancies that shadow everything.

Of course, the first stanza of that has a different rhyme scheme to the second and third stanzas. I've been playing about with it for another forty minutes or so, off and on, along with a couple of other poems, and it now looks like this - a regular rhyme scheme, and a little tightening. It's too early for me to say whether this has real potential or not:

My Soul

We’re only bones wrapped up in skin, unless
the soul exists. But what are souls, if not
mirrors resistant to false consciousness,
or fertile lands that haven’t yet been bought?

Many years ago I dressed in black
and smoked Gitanes. My soul wisped in the air
and greyed the indie disco gloom, a crack
in teenage existentialist despair,

but not a bright light or an open door.
I married once, then twice, and found that love
is fragile as a soul’s façade, and more
complex than any trinity above.

My soul is fickle, wound in sound and string,
in vacancies that shadow everything.

2 comments:

Eloise said...

The poem I am working on in Charon's at the moment was probably written in 20 minutes during a massive NaPo panic (and was actually an emergency second sonnet after the first one went funny). I'm still drafting the thing--contrary to Michael's worst fears.
These speed exercises can bypass all that second-guessing--go fast enough and it's like automatic-writing, only in meter and rhyme. Interesting sometimes to see how it turns out.
A couple of dud lines in this one, but worth pursuing. I like S2 especially, and the couplet.

Thanks for posting this challenge, just my packet of mackerel. I must try and get an IP one done (but my laptop is bust), maybe I'll spend a little more time on it (within the 15 mins) this time.

Eloise

Rob Mackenzie said...

I agree with you, Eloise. I've enjoyed attempting the challenge myself, although I still haven't made it.