Benny, my Bean
Your ashes on my mantle sit. Your stained
and dirty collar as its base. “Let’s play,”
the pocket holding tags dangles down, chained
no more to me, but in my heart you stay.
Four months since you are gone, my everyday
breath still catches, tears roll down reminding
me of my “Soul Dog.” Our daily ballet,
of your protection, my soft kiss binding
us forever. You sent her quickly finding
me a new warm heart to love and cherish.
Your departure just a pause, spellbinding
our hearts forever and will not perish.
Your stately paw and side-eye glance, heavy
sigh, my Soul Dog. My Bean. My sweet Benny.
First, and foremost, I must thank from the depths of my heart the peeps at NaPoWriMo. They chose my poem “Prismojen” from from Day 8, to be the featured poem for today. I am deeply humbled. And a great thank you to all who read and posted their words of support. I a deeply grateful.
Now on with today’s prompt. My dread of al dreads – the sonnet. Oh. I tried my best to use ABAB BCBCB CDCD EE – “The Spenserian sonnet is a 14-line poem developed by Edmund Spenser in his Amoretti, that varies the English form by interlocking the three quatrains (ABAB BCBC CDCD EE).”
Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo. “Finally, here’s our prompt for the day (as always, optional). We’re calling today Sonnet Sunday, as we’re challenging you to write in what is probably the most robust poetic form in English. A traditional sonnet is 14 lines long, with each line having ten syllables that are in iambic pentameter (where an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable). While love is a very common theme in sonnets, they’re also known for having a kind of argumentative logic, in which a problem is posed in the first eight lines or so, discussed or argued about in the next four, and then resolved in the last two lines. A very traditional sonnet will rhyme, though there are a variety of different rhyme schemes.
Today, sonnets are probably most commonly associated with Shakespeare (who wrote more than 150, and felt very little compunction about messing around with the form, at least to the extent of regularly saying “who cares” to strict iambs). But poets’ attention to the form hasn’t waned in the 400 years or so since the Bard walked the fields around Stratford-upon-Avon and tramped the stage-boards of Merrie Old England. Take a look at this little selection of contemporary sonnets by Dennis Johnson, Alice Notley, Robert Hass, and Jill Alexander Essbaum. You’ll notice that while all of these poems play in some way on the theme of love, they are tonally extremely different – as is the kind or quality of love that they discuss. Some rhyme, some don’t. They mostly stick to around 14 lines but They’re also not at all shy about incorporating contemporary references (the Rolling Stones, telephones, etc).
Today, we’d like to challenge you to write your own sonnet. Incorporate tradition as much or as little as you like – while keeping in general to the theme of “love.”