The Barbary Striped Grass Mouse Lemniscomys barbarus (Wikipedia)The following is a poem I wrote in college, when I challenged myself to write a Petrarchan sonnet.
I'm not crazy about adhering to poetic formulas so much (save for haiku), especially when rhyme schemes are involved, but I like to test my limits occasionally and some ABBAABBA action seemed just right.
The poem itself is kind of emo, and I was very emo at that age.
I guess I still am, considering the amount of The Cure, Weezer (only the first two albums, The Blue Album and Pinkerton), Modern Lovers, Hefner, Smashing Pumpkins, and Elliott Smith I listen to.
For those of you who were not English majors, a Petrarchan sonnet is a poetic form developed by Italian humorist and writer, Francesco Petrarca (also known as Petrarch)consisting of an octave (eight lines stanza) and a sestet (six lined stanza), in which the subject is most often unattainable love.
Because Petrarca was Italian, the strict rhyme scheme of ABBA ABBA CDCDCD was probably easier to stick to (all those vowels in Italian!). In English, it's a bit more difficult to get the rhyme and meaning on the same page.
Here was my first attempt at a Petrarchan. I think I'll give this sonnet form another crack this week.
better to remain in a safe warm house
laying, lying, licking milky nothing
with mind blanked and belly full as stuffing
or cardboard, nesting, domestic-- a mouse
the vermin, sucking, parasitic louse
leaves the host itching, confused, and huffing
through pestilence, bite marks red and puffing
as a tumor-- ill love creates the spouse
or, perhaps quick wickedness is the tool
dish the truth out, and hurt, but leave with no lies
make do right because it is right a rule
with the cat out, the mouse seeks a new prize
scars are left to heal, burns are left to cool
a quiet life shaken by lecherous eyes