Saturday, August 05, 2006

Quick Sonnet Challenge

C.E.Chaffin, in the comment-field of one of his blog entries, was lamenting the fact that many poets couldn’t write a sonnet in 15 minutes these days. I guess he is right.

I’d never tried this, but had a go. I failed. It took me 20 minutes. But I’m sure others can do better. In fact, people at Pffa’s Challenges forum already have.

Why not have a go? Post your sonnets on your blog. Then either link them to me (that obviously gets you bonus points!), or email me with the url so that I can take a look. I’ll try to link back.

The rules are:

1. You must write a sonnet within 20 minutes. 15 minutes gets you a bonus point.
2. You can’t think out anything beforehand, no choosing rhyming words, no gathering ideas or images – nothing.
3. No cheating.

Here’s my effort. I will have another shot soon:

The night he dragged his body up the slope
was like a death. The onward march of frostbite
slowed him down and his tick to telescope
his life into each momentary highlight
made him feel so small. It turned the brawl
within his head into a cough, a crack
in perfect thought. No time now to install
some explanation, or a zodiac
of routes that one might take. A born observer,
stung to action, he stooped to swallow wine,
untroubled by the threatened hangover
on the far side of dawn. Far out of line,
he climbed, although the stars alone were sane
to hang so high, loitering on the plain.


Eloise said...

6 minutes...hah!

Admittedly it was in tet.


Marion McCready said...

well I failed miserably, can't write proper sonnets anyway but I did manage to scrape together one for fun but I'm not telling you how long it took to write!

C. E. Chaffin said...

This took ten minutes. I haven't even read it because I was concentrating. But I suspect it looks like a ten-minute sonnet. Maybe I'll play cricket tomorrow and post it on my blog with a link, as you requested. Meanwhile think of a title for me, won't you?

Arches and blowholes—it is not the land
That’s being eaten here but sea. Bedrock
Is rising here, a great hand-over-hand
Extending northwest or roughly ten o’clock.
The bedrock’s hard to carve but harder still
For the pacific plate to buckle under,
Submitting to the North American will.
(It’s lucky our state isn’t torn asunder.)
Yet when I look out at all the dark islands
With their tunnels, arches, and msysterious caves
You’d think the flowering meadow of the highlands
Was being assaulted as the sea enslaves.
Things are not always as they appear.
The land is dining on the sea—how queer!

Julie Carter said...

14 minutes, plus another two while I struggled to come up with any sort of title whatsoever and ended up with a bad one--to match the poem!

Rachel B said...

Rob, I can't hardly write a sonnet, let alone impose a time limit.


Rob said...

Well done, folks. I'm sure you could rustle up something, Rachel. I don't think I'm ever going to manage one inside 15 minutes though.