There’s a new anthology of Canadian sonnets out and I’m looking forward to seeing it. Will it reflect the form’s flexibility? Its ability to be shaped by any and all poets who care to engage in the form? This morning I came across the following in David Trinidad’s new collection. Was I expecting to come across a crown of sonnets here? Not quite. But no one owns form. Thank God. And tone cannot be legislated. And form shouldn’t be confused with taste.
We both wanted to look like Patti Smith
on her Horses album: disheveled, pale,
thin, intense. You were scanning Meredith’s
“Modern Love” for British Lit. I thought stale
anyone before Sexton. You laughed, threw
back your head. I puffed a Marlboro Light.
In truth, you were too hearty, and I too
uptight, to do punk. I praised, as twilight
dimmed the gray valley, a poem you’d read
at the student reading: a pitcher cracks,
foreshadows a car crash. The skyline bled
behind you. I’d also read that night–racked
with stage fright, trembling uncontrollably.
You seemed at ease, more confident than me…