On the Sonnet

A simple set of fourteen locking lines,
deceptively so easy to flesh out,
much like arranging a flowering vine,
ordered with care and neatly pruned. No doubt

like any minor thing, so small in scope,
it distills just the essence to define
an instant’s image of a strand of rope,
a Polaroid reduction trapped in time.

That is the sonnet cast into a shell:
a delicacy of song that lasts so briefly.
For poets, a strict exercise of skill

encapsulating time, quickly and well,
so that the tiny picture is framed neatly,
and paints the whole world in a single still.

10 FEB 2003

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