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~~a Petrarchan sonnet~~

On a wide variety of topics
ranging in breadth, diversity, and scope
from hopes and dreams of a modern zygote
to climate trends in Belizean tropics;
from last year’s indie top pick biopics
to Hittite methodologies for grope
as practiced by a hundred lusty popes,
I could spew a font of vague specifics,
work us up a head of steam, but no, thanks.
These days, I spend all coming revenue
on nourishing my limbic streams with joy,
ignore the creaking politics of cranks
who think resentment somehow clears the view.
To love, to learn, these hold my full employ.


The Petrarchan sonnet, despite the name, was not created by Petrarch, but by Renaissance poets who enjoyed composing in Italian. The structure is octave and sestet: eight lines to introduce the problem or premise, and six for the solution. The rhyme scheme ABBAABBA CDECDE has a different feel from Shakespearean. I’ll need to write a few more before I can explain that difference in words.

© Elaine Stirling, 2019
Image: Lisa Bobechko