Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

My sonnet "Celebration"

New Year's Eve fireworks in Punta del Este, Uruguay

I was dismayed to see that my poem, "Celebration", a finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, was printed in the journal Measure with a glaring typo!

So, here it is, printed as it should have appeared:


A wash of molten silver slips along
the rippled black of Maldonado Bay
beneath this month’s blue moon. A well-heeled throng
spills from the restos, as she weaves her way
among them with a folding canvas chair
down to the docks, far from all the fuss.
No grapes to scarf, no new red underwear,
la gringa feels de trop, superfluous.

As rockets blaze, the revelers ooh and ah;
then when the party’s over, rev their cars,
burn rubber round the dark peninsula
till daybreak clears the sky of lingering stars;
while she remains and welcomes in the year
watching the petrels dive then reappear.

—Punta del Este, Uruguay, December 31, 2009


It is a New Year’s Eve custom in Spain and in many Latin American countries to eat a green grape on each stroke of midnight, and to wear a new red undergarment, for good luck during the coming year.

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