As of yesterday I have written 13 sonnets in as many days. The project is proving both easier and more difficult than I expected it would.
Surprisingly, the ease is in subject matter. Since I'm more or less going for autobiographical/bloglike snippets rather than great art or eternal verities, a sonnet topic has always occurred to me well in advance of my ballpark, suppertime deadline (and for you snark-machines out there, yes, my suppertime really does vary that wildly).
The hard part, of course, is the meter. As I wrote in my first "meta-sonnet" a few days ago, I have found iambic pentameter rather a challenge, especially since I seem to have an ottava rima mind. I was giving myself fits, trying to distort pithy, eight-syllable couplets a la Lord Byron's Don Juan into proper sonnet-worthy ten-syllable lines, even before I started worrying about whether or not I was actually employing iambs.
Then I heard a tune on the radio. All hail JACK-FM out of Denver, part of that relatively new breed of stations that more or less try to mimic my generation's iPod habits by playing a lot of everything, pretty much at random.
The tune in question was Sting's "Nothing Like the Sun" from the album of the same name, its signature line cadged directly from a Shakespearean sonnet. Oh yes, I realized as I barreled down Storey Avenue on my way to work that bright sunshine-y morning, that's a perfect example right there! And everyone knows that songs are the greatest aids to memory, ever.
So, um, it's a good thing I like the song; I hear it in my head now every day as I compose the day's sonnet. I hear it in my head at least 14 times. I hear it in my head and giggle at the new lyrics I'm giving to it.
Go ahead and give it a try. Sing along with one of my most recent lines... "I'll chose an earnest man over a dope."
Causes Kate Sherrod Supports
National Novel Writing Month, National Public Radio (two stations - KUWR/Laramie, WY and KUNC - Greeley, CO), Wyoming Association of Municipalites, Wyoming...