Sonnet - Billy Collins
All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now,
and after this one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on love's storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here wile we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,
blow out the lights, and come at last to bed.
I thought this sonnet about sonnets by Billie Collins was very intriguing because while it veered away from the traditional style of sonnet writing, it still managed to adhere to some of the basic guidelines of the sonnet. Even though there is no rhyme scheme, the poem is 14 lines which is the right length for a sonnet. I also liked the original style of this one because all the love and emotional poetry annoys me after a while. In the 9th line when Collins says, "But hang on here while we make the turn", it is a metaphor for the turn that is made in sonnets (the change between the quartets). Collins also uses an allusion to Laura and Petrarch. Petrarch was a famous sonnet writer, and Laura was the woman that he adressed all of his sonnets to. I just found it really interesting that even a poem like this, that seems so nonchalant and different, uses rhetorical strategies in its own unique way. I really like this sonnet because of how different it is.