Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Poem Spark Jan. 22-Feb. 5 - the Sonnenizio


I encountered my first Sonnenizio accidentally (reading a submission from a contributor), and fell in love with the idea of this form. It was only after I did some investigation did I learn that the form was invented by Kim Addonizio. A Sonnenizio appears in her book, What Is This Thing Called Love. I sent her an email about her poem, asking if she invented the form and she replied: "yes, it's true I invented it." In the email, she included a footnote on the poem:

Addonizio wrote:
Note: the sonnenizio was originated in Florence in the thirteenth century by Vanni Fucci as an irreverent form whose subject was usually the impossibility of everlasting love. Dante retaliated by putting Fucci into the seventh chasm of the Inferno as a thief. Originally composed in hendecasyllabics, the sonnenizio gradually moved away from metrical constraints and began to tackle a wider variety of subject matter. The sonnenizio is 14 lines long. It opens with a line from someone else’s sonnet, repeats a word from that line in each succeeding line of the poem, and closes with a rhymed couplet.

Upon further investigation on the internet, some sources claim she was inspired to invent the form because Billy Collins invented the Paradelle, a parody of the Villanelle. Apparently, as did Billy Collins for his Paradelle, Addonizio also invented the history for the Sonnenizio form (although she made no mention of this in her email).

Here is a lovely essay by Theresa Edwards about Addonizio's poem, "Sonnenizio on a Line From Drayton": Kim Addonizio’s Playful Repetition to Michael Drayton’s Sonnet. Here is a link to Drayton's Sonnet: LXI of his sonnet series Idea.

By now, I'm sure you know what this week's spark is: write a Sonnenizio! Every Sonnenizio opens with a line from someone else's sonnet. A word from this first line is repeated in each succeeding line, then the poem closes with a rhymed couplet.

Here are some examples of other Sonnenizios:

Anna Evans Sonnenizio On A Line from Millay

Arlene Ang Sonnenizio on a Line from Wendy Cope

Here are some sonnets to use as a starting point:

Robert Lowell History

Rainer Maria Rilke Sonnet 6

E.E. Cummings Sonnets/Unrealities III.

Have fun! Be creative.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

In memory of

Brutally, the robin
bites the ground, digs
at the sharp grass with stubborn
instinct. The worms are dead
in the frailty of winter. Sorrow
blossoms easily, like feathers
on snow. I have no memory
of your hands. Only the difficult
tilt of your head (your jaw as stubborn
as a bird’s beak) flutters to the surface
of my thoughts. It is January, inside this house.
I am steady until the robin ends his futile movements
and flies into the woods, away from my clouded window.
In the distance, even the specks of his wings vanish
though my yard clutches a few stray feathers;
brown against the indecent white of snow.

© 2007 Christine Klocek-Lim

Poem Spark Jan. 8-15 - Inspired by . . .
First line from Paula Bohince's poem titled, "Brutally, the Robin"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


. . . it feels like January. It's 34 degrees Fahrenheit right now.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Poem Spark Jan. 8-15 - Inspired by . . .

Greetings fellow poets. My apologies for posting this a day late, but Real Life caught me in its selfish grasp. I only just escaped this morning when I read a new essay about Jack Gilbert on Poets.org: Coming to the End of His Triumph: A Retrospective on Jack Gilbert by Dan Albergotti.

The intriguing thing about the essay is not so much the story of Gilbert's life, some of which I already knew, but the introduction of poems I hadn't read. Titles such as, "The Abnormal Is Not Courage," and "All the Way from There to Here," interest me. Often when I am mired in writer's block, I find it easier to begin writing again by borrowing titles of poems and using them as the starting point, the spark, if you will.

For this week's spark, "borrow" the title of a poem you particularly like, and write a new poem. The title may become the title of your poem, or it can be part of the text of your poem.

Here are some examples of titles (and poems) that I find fascinating:

Jack Gilbert The Abnormal Is Not Courage

Dan Albergotti In the Era of the Sentence Fragment

Paula Bohince Brutally, the Robin

Good luck. Have fun. Be creative!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I am bored

and starving, which is a deadly combination that usually results in burnt dinner. Because I spend all my time reading blogs and such on the internet, the pot boils over, and suddenly, the smell of burnt cauliflower permeates the entire house. Not a happy smell, let me tell you.

January 2007 is odd

It should be snowing.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Poem Spark Jan. 1-8 - Poems of beginning

Happy New Year fellow poets!

Each year, on January 1st, some of us make resolutions. For this week's spark, instead of a resolution, write a poem that documents the beginning of something. It can be the beginning of the year, the beginning of a relationship, the beginning of a piece of cheesecake. The start of something new is intriguing and sometimes hopeful. Other times, it's the beginning of a long and slow process of healing after sorrow or tragedy. Whatever it is, it's new.

The front page of Poets.org leads to an essay about Poems for the New Year. This is where I found my examples for this week:

Thomas Hardy's poem of farewell to the 19th century: The Darkling Thrush

Charles Reznikoff's celebration of the common: Te Deum

Kobayashi Issa's merry greeting to the New Year: New Year's morning

Have fun and be creative. I wish you a very joyful and peaceful New Year!