(Poem #194) Sonnet with a Different Letter at the End of Every Line
O for a muse of fire, a sack of dough, Or both! O promissory notes of woe! One time in Santa Fe N.M. Ol' Winfield Townley Scott and I ... But whoa. One can exert oneself, ff , Or architect a heaven like Rimbaud, Or if that seems, how shall I say, de trop , One can at least write sonnets, a propos Of nothing save the do-re-mi-fa-sol Of poetry itself. Is not the row Of perfect rhymes, the terminal bon mot, Obeisance enough to the Great O? "Observe," said Chairman Mao to Premier Chou, "On voyage à Parnasse pour prendre les eaux. On voyage comme poisson, incog."
Notes: N.M.: New Mexico ff: fortissimo (musical term, 'very loud') de trop: too much bon mot: clever saying French sentences: they travel to Parnassus to take the waters, they travel as fish  Name of a mountain in central Greece, anciently sacred to Apollo and the Muses; hence used allusively in reference to literature, esp. poetry. -- OED Rhyme scheme: aaaaaaaaaaaaaa Today's poem is not so much poetry as verse. However, it is a wonderfully ingenious piece of verse, and I for one am an unabashed fan of ingenuity. As an added bonus, it's not only a poem about poetry (see previous theme <g>) but a poem about itself. The latter, incidentally, is a not-too-unusual device in poems whose main focus is their form - inverting the scheme of things somewhat, the content highlights and reinforces the form, explicitly pointing out its various features. On the down side, it's a slightly overused technique, and one that is liable to topple over the fine line between 'crafted' and 'contrived' - nonetheless, when well done it can, and has, produced some delightful poems. Biography: George Starbuck 1931 - 1996 There's not much about Starbuck online - for a somewhat personal perspective on the man, see the obituaries at [broken link] http://wings.buffalo.edu/epc/documents/obits/starbuck.html m.