I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Got a big vocabulary?

I can't pretend I take verse writing seriously but I do enjoy using multi-syllable words that fit. The more syllables the better. Recently I contrived to squeeze in "physiology". That's five syllables, so in iambic pentameter there's only five more to find. What's the limit for squeezing? I suggested to Lucy a competition for A SONNET WITH THE FEWEST WORDS and she said she'd be up for that. Hearing of this Lucas said he was game too.

Just a few rules, then. The entries will be published in Tone Deaf, all together, on June 1. "All together" is important. If I posted sonnets as I received them later competitors would have a total to shoot for. Can't have that. All entrants retain their copyright, sonnets must scan and any form (Shakespearean, Miltonian, etc) is acceptable. Because Tone Deaf is musical at least one musical reference should be included.

The LdP Concise Sonnet Competition will be entirely democratic when it comes to prizes. Everyone gets one unless the first-year students at the London Royal College of Music decide I’m ripe for exploitation. And the prize will be worth having: Charles Rosen's book Critical Entertainment. Rosen is a concert pianist, professor emeritus of music and social thought at the University of Chicago and writes about music in a way that makes me weep with envy.

I intend to be the greyhound-track-poop-scooper to the LdPCSC, modestly publishing my own sonnet on June 2. Since I already have Rosen’s book I won’t be awarding myself another copy.


  1. Am not entering your comp.'cos I couldn't write a sonnet. However, the following 14 word 'sonnet' by Fred Sidgwick has always made me smile, because it is short and to the point...


  2. ps. It's called 'The Aeronaut to his Lady'. But expect you already knew that.

  3. HHB: Thank you for that. But then when I think of Accept All Offerings I remind myself that you are devoted to conciseness. And that you're famous for being out-of-synch: drenched when we're dry, sweating when we shiver. As to writing a sonnet I don't see why not. Structure (if Shakespearean): ABAB/CDCD/EFEF/GG. Form: iambic pentameter (whisper "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" to yourself). Subject: Alchemist's magnificent beard.

    Look HHB you know about poetry, you read it. When I mentioned I'd got a CADuffy book you wanted to know my reaction. There's no reason why you shouldn't have a go, secretly, to yourself while walking Blue Dog. I suspect you fear showing it to someone for guidance but, honest, poetry is such a rare thing that people are terribly kind and helpful. Do you remember, while I was still doing WW, I decided that technology was just as good a subject as daffodills and I instructed Julia to teach me to write poetry. Julia's a very busy lady and yet she helped. But don't feel you have to post. Poetry is nothing if not personal and you can keep it to yourself.

    It's only because I have a tsunami-sized ego, and have posted, that people who haven't looked too closely at the results have imagained I know something about poetry.

    I didn't in fact know it was The Aeronaut to his Lady, what's more I didn't know of Fred Sidgwick. Would you like me to go on about my poetical ignorance? Prove it, if you like?