Today's sonnet I wrote for Kathleen's and my sixth wedding anniversary, Sept. 14. Yes, Virginia, there is true love in the world and I found it with Kathleen. Even so, poetry has its own demands, and though I wanted to write a very romantic sonnet for our anniversary, the poem took a wry turn to set up a simple conceit prefigured in the title.
You can't force a poem to be something it's not, a frequent beginner's mistake. You can't manhandle a poem and expect it to be something worth preserving. As I tell my students, "Get out of the way of the poem." So I did with this one, though I think it at best an average example of my work.
At Rodent Neutral, Thank God!
Thinning a Verb
I love pistachios and basketball
And blackberries and the furious mane of spray
When ocean batters rock and the pall
Of fog through pines above the aqua bay.
I love fireworks and my guitar
And everything the Beatles ever wrote.
I love the charm of a familiar bar
And my worn flannels and my paisley coat
(Though you won’t see me wearing them together).
I love asparagus and artichokes
And licorice whips and nuts and rainy weather
And Halloween and good off-color jokes.
___Have I devalued ‘love’ with things too steeply
___To say “I love you” and not mean it deeply?