Diane Seuss; or when is a sonnet not a sonnet?
#1
Since I joined Pig Pen I also started reading poetry again offsite.  I've dipped into Louise Gluck, Li Po, Jay Wright, Allen Tate and others, most new to me.  Yesterday I stumbled across Diane Seuss.

What intrigued me was an ad for her most recent book called frank: sonnets (2021).  Now I've been on Pig Pen long enough to know how many of us will say these are not really sonnets and I'd be among them.  But her poems are gold, in my opinion.  I'm going to transcribe one of the "frank sonnets" here.  I think it's fair use since I'm basically pimping her book  Dodgy

So you can decide:

I met a man a dying man and I said me too.
Met a dead man and I said me too.  Must be
dead cuz the living can't meet the dead and he
said me too.  Did you know the dead can fall
in love he said. Fact. Did you know the dead
fall in love better than the living cuz nothing
left to lose.  The root of all blues.  Skeptical still
I strode onward in my seven-league boots as in
the fairy tale "Hop-o'-Ny-Thumb" from a book
of German fairy tales given to me when I had
chicken pox.  Scratching myself bloody, the ogre
gored to death by wild beasts.  Seven leagues per
stride toward a dead banjo player in a bad
mood.  Enchanteur. Or zauberhaft in German.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#2
(05-05-2021, 07:32 AM)TranquillityBase Wrote:  Since I joined Pig Pen I also started reading poetry again offsite.  I've dipped into Louise Gluck, Li Po, Jay Wright, Allen Tate and others, most new to me.  Yesterday I stumbled across Diane Seuss.

What intrigued me was an ad for her most recent book called frank: sonnets (2021).  Now I've been on Pig Pen long enough to know how many of us will say these are not really sonnets and I'd be among them.  But her poems are gold, in my opinion.  I'm going to transcribe one of the "frank sonnets" here.  I think it's fair use since I'm basically pimping her book  Dodgy

So you can decide:

I met a man a dying man and I said me too.
Met a dead man and I said me too.  Must be
dead cuz the living can't meet the dead and he
said me too.  Did you know the dead can fall
in love he said. Fact. Did you know the dead
fall in love better than the living cuz nothing
left to lose.  The root of all blues.  Skeptical still
I strode onward in my seven-league boots as in
the fairy tale "Hop-o'-Ny-Thumb" from a book
of German fairy tales given to me when I had
chicken pox.  Scratching myself bloody, the ogre
gored to death by wild beasts.  Seven leagues per
stride toward a dead banjo player in a bad
mood.  Enchanteur. Or zauberhaft in German.

What a weird poem, this definitely doesn't feel like a sonnet at all, I need to look up who this Diane Seuss is.

Ok, so I googled her, she was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circe Poetry Award and has some works under her belt.
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#3
Well, it has 14 lines.

I'm not sure, TqB. I read on Wikipedia that Diane Seuss is an 'educator', so this relaxed approach to writing sonnets just seems rather calculated, somehow. Do you ever get the impression poetry is selected for publication based on its potential impact rather than its merit? (Will it get people talking? Will it get the New Formalists a bit wound up?) Well, I dare say I'm a cynical old thing. I don't dislike the poem you've posted, but I think I'd find it more appealing as free verse. And even then, I prefer a lot of the stuff I've read on PigPen.
All best,
Leaf
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#4
I found these random sonnets people wrote and put them to the tune of one poem.

I call it:



Sonnet


I lift—lift you five States away your glass,
Wide of this bar you never graced, where none
Ever I know came, where what work is done
Even by these men I know not, where a brass
Police-car sign peers in, wet strange cars pass,
Soiled hangs the rag of day out over this town,
A juke-box brains air where I drink alone,
The spruce barkeep sports a toupee alas—

My glass I lift at six o'clock, my darling,
As you plotted . . Chinese couples shift in bed,
We shared today not even filthy weather,
Beasts in the hills their tigerish love are snarling,
Suddenly they clash, I blow my short ash red,
Grey eyes light! and we have our drink together.

Raise no monument. For it is the roses
Which salute Him year by year with their petals.
This, you see, is Orpheus. His transformations
Run through this and through that. No need

To trouble ourselves with other names. All signs and tokens
Are Orpheus, if they sing. He winds through everything.
And is it not much if from time to time He broods over
The hanging rose hips for some days yet?

Oh, but He must fade, and we must understand that!
And what if He himself fears this need to waste away?
When His speech transcends the here and now.

Already He is there where we cannot follow Him.
The frets of the lyre cannot compel His hands.
He obeys when he transgresses.
Dark and wrinkled like a violet carnation,

It breathes, humbly lurking in moss
Still moist from love following the sweet flight

Of white Buttocks to its rim's heart
Strands like milky tears were wept

Beneath the cruel wind driving them back,
Between little clots of reddish clay
Losing themselves in the beckoning slope.

My dream often mouthed its vent;
My soul, jealous of real coitus,
Made it a musky vessel for sobs and tears.
Swooning olive, tender flute, the tube
From which heavenly praline flows:
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#5
(05-06-2021, 03:38 AM)Leaf Wrote:  Well, it has 14 lines.

I'm not sure, TqB. I read on Wikipedia that Diane Seuss is an 'educator', so this relaxed approach to writing sonnets just seems rather calculated, somehow. Do you ever get the impression poetry is selected for publication based on its potential impact rather than its merit? (Will it get people talking? Will it get the New Formalists a bit wound up?) Well, I dare say I'm a cynical old thing. I don't dislike the poem you've posted, but I think I'd find it more appealing as free verse. And even then, I prefer a lot of the stuff I've read on PigPen.

To be honest, I haven't read enough yet (I ordered her books but they've yet to arrive) to tell how this works as a series of sonnets.  I could only sample the first five.  Initially, it seems like a stunt.  But I'm likely to change my tune if I read them all and they are as powerful as her non-sonnet poetry.  She has a couple on the Academy of American Poets page that actually are better than this particular poem.

I wrote one of these non-sonnets for NaPoM and I'll cynically say it seemed pretty easy.  But a greenhorn like me is likely to say anything.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#6
The first of the ones I put there is a sonnet in English. Any Johnny is a JohnnyCOMELATELY, so is Jack and DianeWITHANAMELIKE SEUSS.

I mutilated the last poem in there. 



When I use a : I'm of course doing it sexually.

How, not coarse but of course, how common to write a sonnet to an asshole. When he transgresses he obeys.
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#7
Thanks for your contribution, rowens. If you use a ; are you doing so semi-sexually?

TqB, I hope you enjoy your reading. I'll have to take a look at that page you mention. What a pleasant word, 'greenhorn'.
All best,
Leaf
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#8
I'm going to post a poem in the short poem place, wherein I say apparently harsh things about a female poet I've never read, based on the way she looks.

In doing this, I'm making no judgment on your comments about Diane Seuss.

The world is full of paranoid people. So, indeed (to coin a term), I'm talking about myself.

In, words you yourself initiated, I will be posting this poem semi-sexually.


You may be wondering how these two poems, and this too is a poem, is posted is the dame is time. Same time.




I'll tell you.

I like to make people think I'm intimidating them. In hopes that they will experience how I only talk to and about people I like. And want to talk to me.


I used to be a wrestler , you s e e. And I heard you were into publishing.
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#9
I'm actually a tree surgeon, rowens.
All best,
Leaf
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#10
Are they consenting trees?

I'm actually a horse doctor.
Marry me, and I promise, I'll never look at another horse.
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#11
Thanks, rowens, but as it happens I'm already married, to a consenting tree.
All best,
Leaf
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#12
Marriage? Have you read my other posts?

I don't care if you're married. As long as you're under 30.

People say people use humor because they're insecure.

I say I'm insecure because I use humor.

I'm not secure enough that people are intelligent enough to get my jokes.

Oh shit, that was a swipe at my poem, To A Daphne.

A poem posted on this very site.

Your post was the swipe.


Not mine.

I wasn't sure you understood.
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#13
I'm well over 30, therefore of no interest to you.
All best,
Leaf
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#14
Not to change the subject, but I'm going back to Diane Suess long enough to mention I'm almost done reading her first book of poems Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open, and she is a marvel.  One of the poems is a guilty pleasure, called The Cooked Goose, about the "rule" that a poet shouldn't write a poem about writing a poem, for which I've been criticized on Pig Pen.  But they are all good poems.

I guess no one wants to talk about her sonnet or not sonnet.  I would have been a poor TV programmer.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#15
Under 40, then? I mean I'm not a snob.


I haven't read Diane Seuss, yet. I just like to get a sense of what I'm talking about by talking.

Who told you not to write poems about writing poems? milo?


And if not. They just got that from him.
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#16
All of Milos poems are secretly about writing poems he just wants to monopolize the subject
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches
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#17
Don't write poems about poems.

Yeah, it always seemed shit advice.

Then still, milo is a shit name.
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#18
I've seen it said by others....not that I'm keeping a list or anything.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#19
I keep lists. Ask Ertrona.

I can't remember how to spell his name. Shows how often I enlist him.

I'm just going to keep ripping on people until the alcohol wears off. I said that five years ago. But the offer stands.
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#20
Here's a copy of The Cooked Goose if anyone is curious:



https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1...sp=sharing
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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