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October 04, 2008


A sonnet's not an easy thing to write.
It twists and turns each time you think it caught.
Just try it once and see if I'm not right,
That everything you write turns out pure rot.

Some poets seem to have an easy time,
Like Shakespeare, Spenser, Shelley, Keats, et. al.
Their sonnets have a beauty in their rhyme;
My sonnet should be on a bathroom wall.

But they spent many hours at their craft,
Until their words, like music, flowed along.
The finished work is never the first draft.
The writing process can be rather long.

So now I know I have much work to do,
And many lines to write before I'm through.

This was the first sonnet I ever wrote.  I wrote it about 15 years ago, at the behest of a friend of mine.  We were both aspiring writers, and I was having trouble finishing anything.  He suggested I write some sonnets.  He thought it would get me out of my slump.  I believe it was on Labor Day weekend.  I checked out some books on sonnets to study the form, spent all weekend, and came up with this gem (being facetious, here), plus another one.

I actually enjoyed it so much, I started writing a sonnet everyday.  I promise the later ones were much better.  I even started sending some in to small literary mags, and got about a dozen or so published.

I remember waiting on my first rejection letter.  I actually couldn't wait to get it.  I considered it to be a rite of passage, I guess.  The first correspondence I got back was a letter stating they would publish one of my poems.  Bummer.  But I think the next 10 or so were rejection letters, so that cheered me up.