Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Billy Wrote Gruff

Billy Wrote Gruff
(in response to "Sonnet" by Billy Collins)

No, Billy, you're mistaken. I don't need
to limit to fourteen my sonnet's girdle
(it isn't like a Laureate to mislead).
I'm sure you've read a Hopkins curtailed curtal
and heard of Milton's grand caudated form.
Another thing. Those bongo drums. You must
know even Shakespeare disobeyed the norm
from time to time (I bet you would have cussed
him for a dactyl). With your launching, you
would have us think a sonnet has to speak
of love (What hadst thou Donne?) And though it's true
theh sonnet aims for clinchers, your critique
is ghastly. Lastly, Laura's horny plea —
why did you have to say such things and spoil it?
Had Petrarch written his great verses free,
she might have flushed them down her ersatz toilet.
And Spenser's had a horrible reaction:
he's rolling in his grave. Please! A retraction!

© Catherine Chandler (first published in The HyperTexts

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