Dear Ed.,

I sit and write; I offer up my heart

though dozen other tasks more pressing loom.

My critic has it easy for her part

(I see her shadow growing in the gloom)—

She’ll say, this stuff won’t stand to any scans

of meter, subject, beauty, or of rhyme.

You fool! You know that e’en your so-called fans

will just suppose you didn’t take the time

to polish, think or work to hone your craft.

She’ll say, my child, you’re nothing but a hack,

this taking up the challenge, simply daft.

(She knows just where my soul is holed and black.)

And so, dear editor, confirm this fear:

Send your love note; I will wait (cringing) here.


Yeah Write’s February poetry slam is all about sonnets. Need I say, I do not feel comfortable with this form?

26 thoughts on “Dear Ed.,”

    1. I don’t know how other people can write sonnets and make them sound so natural. Whenever “rules” come in it, I have an allergic reaction. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  1. This is brilliant! I love your rhymes and the way you make her shadow a presence all the way through.
    I think I have the same message for her as well. I’ve been struggling and struggling since Sunday to the point that, when my husband sees that I’m writing he says, “the sonnet again?” then leaves the room before I can snarl. I have about 6 partial ones, and all of them sound forced and ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m sure your efforts are more lovely than you think. Don’t you think that writing in these older forms comes with heightened self-consciousness? I have a couple others in the works and am gritting my teeth over them, but having come this far don’t want to give up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. Maybe the self-consciousness is in part due to the fact that I keep reading sonnets by amazing, famous writers for “research” (procrastination…). That and, as you said, the rules make it somehow sound forced. Oh, and you’re very kind but really, I promise mine are horrid!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What, you want a love letter over one lousy trochaic substitution? You’ll have to try harder than that!

    (Iambic pentameter makes me horribly self-conscious. It’s Christine’s natural habitat. I’m sure you’ll see the evidence of that next week!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You did it! I’m surprised you didn’t mean to change the pattern on “Send your love note”; it was the perfect place to break for emphasis. Like “Screw it! I dare you!” So far I’ve noticed sonnets lend themselves to one syllable words. Like putting the emphasis on the first and third syllables of “ED-i-TOR” threw me for a second, but once I backed up and read it again it made sense.


    1. I did play it pretty safe this time around. 🙂 You’re right about the one-syllable words. It’s hard to find a three- or more-syllable word with the right stress pattern, and that feels limiting. Oh, and rhyme. Ugh.


          1. Yes! Then we’d only have a few lines to angst over. It would be very fun! And if we kept it fun, the self-consciousness and doubt would not increase with the pressure to measure up to the others…yeah…positive thinking 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Great job, Jennifer! We are all putting them up next week. I started but sonnets are hard if you don’t think iambically like Christine! I just hope I can have it done by Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Thinking iambically”–exactly. I keep wondering how the “old guys” did it. It must have been so ingrained into their way of looking at the world?


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