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(1954 / California)

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Sonnet: Less of the Different?

(after Ashbery)

A sonnet's 'just more of the same'? Uh, no.
It's rather like less of the different.
There is no formula involved, you know.
True, syllables and lines and rhymes get spent
At predetermined intervals: mirage
Of order. Inside, sonnets are a mess
Of words, a slew of syntax, a barrage
Linguistically set off; are nonetheless
Provisionally impish-and as free
As freest verse to chat up any ear
Or signal any eye. The form, you see,
Is just a well mapped route from which to veer.
A sonnet is a disobedience
Of sounds, a flaunt of form, a tease of sense.

Hans Ostrom

Submitted: Wednesday, May 07, 2008


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