Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ballad of the Fruitcake

Fruitcake from the Scott expedition to Antarctica

My poem, "Ballad of the Fruitcake" has been published today on Light's Poem of the Week website.

Thanks, Melissa and team!

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Crux, aka The Southern Cross, not visible in the Northern hemisphere

Some good news today. Four of my poems, "Nines", "Interim", "Ending", and "My Father's Shirts" have been accepted for publication.

The two journals are Alabama Literary Review and Off the Coast.

A rare event, since "Nines" is a free verse incantation/list poem.

All 14 lines in "Ending" end in the same consonant/vowel combination but also have a newly-invented (by me!) rhyme scheme:  abcdabcd efggfe.

What can I say about "Interim" except that I consider it a 15-line sonnet in tetrameter, about a relationship that's beginning to fall apart.

As for "My Father's Shirts", it's a Stefanile sonnet (not many of these around!). My favorite of the four.

Thank you, Bill Thompson and AE Talbot!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Plain Beauty

For some reason, the link to my curtal sonnet, "Plain Beauty", published in May 2017 in The Rotary Dial is non-functional, so I've included it in this blog post. It was one of six different types of sonnets I read on Saturday evening at the campfire reading at the Parc nature Les Forestiers-de-Saint-Lazare, in the little village where I live. A photo of me reading, taken by Brian Campbell, is below.

Plain Beauty

Glory be to God for homely things—
            For muddy boots and oil-stained dungarees;
                        For calloused hands that knead and scrub and hem;
Threadbare baby blankets; apron strings;
            Those first attempts to write the ABCs;
                        And tone-deaf lullabies at 3 a.m.

All things modest, unassuming, rough;
            Rag rugs, first drafts, eucalyptus trees;
                        Plain-spoken poems (foliage . . . leaf and stem);
They whelm the world in love. It’s not enough.
                                    Love them.

Catherine Chandler, August 12, 2017 Parc nature Les Forestiers-de-Saint-Lazare

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Weenies and Fish


Two of my poems (one a sonnet, one a leona rima) now online in Light Poetry Magazine, Summer/Fall 2017.

More importantly, poems by my amiga, Rhina Espaillat, and a wonderful essay on her work by Leslie Monsour.

Thank you, Melissa Balmain and team!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Tonight's Reading

An all-sonnet reading tonight at a park in Saint-Lazare, Québec. Poetry and Music Under the Stars: Six different sonnets. Sonnets, after all, are songs.🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶

 Fibonacci. Didn't write sonnets, but his mathematical sequence inspired my Fibonacci sonnet, "To the Iron Goddess of Mercy." It's all about pattern out of chaos.  ☕
Hopkins, of "Pied Beauty" fame, gave me the idea for my own curtal sonnet, "Plain Beauty." This will be my final poem. Line 10 1/2 is to die for. Or to live for. 💟
 Milton and his 20-line "caudate" sonnet, was a challenge, but I've written two lately, and will read my "Edward Hopper's Early Sunday Morning." 🎨
Shakespeare. The Bard. First on my reading list tonight is my Shakespearean (aka Elizabethan) sonnet, "Where All the Ladders Start", the title inspired by William Butler Yeats's "The Circus Animals' Desertion".  My poem deals with the roots of artistic inspiration. 🖊
 Spenser. The most difficult sonnet form IMHO. Well, maybe the Pushkin is harder . . . I'll be reading "Hornero", about the Uruguayan bird similar to the North American ovenbird. The rhymes weave their way down the fourteen lines, sort of imitating the chambered nest of said bird. The poem ends in a couplet meant as a friendly jab at my free-verse friends.  🐦

Petrarch.  I'll be reading my Petrarchan (aka Italian) sonnet, "Pointing Home". I've kept the rhyme scheme, but have used slant rhyme throughout. 🏡

Dudes, all.  :-(.  Although . . . I recently wrote a three-sonnet sequence, "Shakespeare's Sisters", inspired by a chapter in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.  I'm waiting to hear back from the publisher.  Wish me luck. It's a humdinger. 👧👧👧

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Summer of 1970

A waterfall at the Seven Tubs Recreation Area

My sonnet, "Summer of 1970" is now online at The Rotary Dial, Issue 53, August 2017 edition.

Many thanks to co-editors Alexandra Oliver and Pino Coluccio.