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.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Dehyd. (poet.): shorter.1

On March 2 I invited a sonnet with the fewest words, the Dehydrated Sonnet. I can’t remember where the impulse came from.

Plutarch wasn’t interested. With good reason. Poetic rules are easily explained, poetic obligations are something else again. Opportunities for betrayal occur between every syllable. Imposing an artificial – irrational - restriction as I had done corrupted the whole process.

Thus: you write a decent line. Then try to compress the wordage, making it indecent. Your options shrink. You become obsessed with long words

I am lucky in that I write verse not poetry (In soccer terms: the conference vs. the championship). My effort appears tomorrow. However here are entries from two bloggers who take poetry more seriously. Both get prizes.

Note 1: To legitimise the project as a TD post, a musical reference was required.
Note 2: Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee…” is 114 words.

Lucy: (Untitled). 56 words

Inspirational daPonte, that
tirelessly charming persiflager,
luminary of my commentariat,
proposes playfully a wager:

reductionistic sonneteering - make,
Italianate Petrarchan, or Miltonic,
Wordsworthian, Spenserian or Shake-
spearian form - example most laconic.

Yet minimalising semantemes, while meeting
pentametrical demands - conjunctions,
prepositions, articles, pronouns deleting -
linguisticality, alas, malfunctions.

Syllabic prodigality alone
provides excessive flesh, deficient bone.

Lucas: Riding the Sonnet. 72 words

…started with microcosmic excitation,
one introverted thought at liberty,
choosing relaxing camaraderie,
not the controlling baton’s orchestration –
initially a steady undulation,
pre-propagating through the qwerty
keyboard, a salon’s tripping melody
melodiously rippling, building, spinning on

until its music flooded, overtaking me
accelerando. A crazy streamer,
stream-lined, concert-hall high, broke free,
roguishingly ascending and getting weightier
above my clipped peaks.
The salon swam, landfall ever h a z i e r.


  1. Tempting to say the extra 16 words make all the difference but I think there's more to it than that...

    Thanks for the exercise!

  2. Lucy, the control of multisyllabic verse, and sonnet-argumentation with which you launch and sustain this poem is further intensified by the final rhyming couplet. I enjoyed it very much.