Shall I Compare thee to a Petrachan Sonnet?

December 31, 2008

shall I compare to a petrachan sonnet
the tiny snail from Italy, with shell
like the fossil of a verse in a bell
and fist of words curled up in it’s forest.
lumaca, chiocciola, snail slow bonnet
Italiano mollusco, farewell
you who is homesick but cannot sell
shells on the beach, to float back like a promise.

Little sonnet: are you sung by the snail
in the night on the beach? are your fourteen lines
hung like a prayer by it’s lungs like a wail?
Did Petrarch know it was not his rhyme
but the ring of hermaphrodite, male/female
that was imported first. Would he mind?

One Response to “Shall I Compare thee to a Petrachan Sonnet?”

  1. tony walker said

    Happy New Year! Very clever and humourous. i wrote this off the cuff this morning. i was standing at the bus stop with Awful Alf yesterday.

    Ode to a domestic vacuum cleaner (NOT)

    She came to me in spluttering detail
    After her arrival in Flat 3
    (Below me)
    The knock on the door
    A long strand of dark hair
    On the floor,
    The shout in the hallway
    The unspoken invitation
    To enter her lair
    Then the instruction
    “Stand on this chair”
    Reaching out into nothing
    Grasping thin air
    I made physical contact….
    with the light socket
    Nothing again
    She was looking up at me
    Silence, separation
    This is comic
    I thought
    No spark between us, I leave

    Soon she was gone
    The tall dark willowy woman
    From flat three
    Departed without bliss
    Not a message, a call or even a kiss
    I traced my steps downstairs
    To the yard below
    And by the bin there
    Her ageing Hoover vacuum cleaner
    Stood lonely without a care
    Almost new unused

    Thank you black willow
    Though I never knew your name


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