Bjorn is hosting at the Pub tonight. We are all poets and we know what a sonnet is. Everyone knows that a sonnet rhymes, and there are rhyme schemes. Everyone knows that a sonnet is written in meter. More specifically iambic pentameter. A sonnet has fourteen lines, and a sonnet has something called a volta too. We all know that. But if I mention sonnets we shall not forget Pablo Neruda.
Love sonnet XVII
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
No rhyme scheme. No meter (or as I prefer to say – a free meter). But it has 14 lines, and a volta when you go from the two quatrain into the the concluding tercets.
This is consistent with an Italian (or Petrarchan sonnet).
Today I want you to write a free verse sonnet in the same style. State your problem in the first two quatrain (pack it with metaphors, with mystery and imagery). Then apply it for real in the concluding part.
do you run like a river through this landscape
meandering across the plains of existence
or perhaps you dance in relation to space itself
four dimensions and counting the beat
do you move in a logically in one direction
never returning to where you set out from
destined to ride the waves until infinity bends
ticking away those pink moments behind the moon
i am unchanging and immutable, without tick or tock
i am Parmenides ghost whispering in this eternal now
i am ‘what is’ and ‘what is’ cannot be what is not which
never was in the beginning anyway because there was
no beginning Only the now indivisible and continuous now
so here the equation is completed as We have no more time
Notes: This poem is inspired by the thinking of the physicist Julian Barbour who postulates that there is no such thing as time.