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Friday, April 11, 2008

Sonnet CII

mosquito, flitting all about my room –
so devious and cunning – more than me
the femme fatale of nature – filled with glee
and with my blood still spinning at her loom –
her job it seems – to spin the dizzy room
her dyes enriched with her undying greed
and bloody red, of course obtained from me –
went splat and flew across the walls and room.

Another day I found a fallen One.
I buried It in Tissue, with great Fuss.
But then, remembering my splattered blood
that itchy night, in retribution, crushed
the little pest, between my angry thumbs.

Avenging me, Fall turned the rest to dust.


  1. So, I experimented with my tool belt of poetic techniques in this sonnet:

    - un-capitalization and de-punctuation (not capitalizing the beginning of sentences/lines and not putting end punctuation at the ends of lines) in the first stanza to indicate the hurriedness of the breathless chasing around of a fly. One of Emily Brönte's poems I read did not include punctuation and had the pencilled-in note beside the poem: "too rushed for punctuation". This inspired me to use this technique as well as not capitalizing the beginning of lines and sentences.

    - Ambiguous phrases in the first part.
    "the femme fatale of nature – filled with glee
    and with my blood still spinning at her loom –"

    can be one sentence, but taken another way, sharing one of the lines:
    "and with my blood still spinning at her loom –
    her job it seems – to spin the dizzy room"

    can be another sentence.

    "her dyes enriched with her undying greed
    and bloody red, of course obtained from me – "

    is one sentence but taken differently with the shared line:
    "and bloody red, of course obtained from me –
    went splat and flew across the walls and room."

    is another sensible sentence.

    I hope this provided the feelings of confusion and the dizziness of chasing a mosquito around.

    - Puns! I used puns and double meanings of words to illustrate confusion too. I.e. "spinning at her loom" and "spin the dizzy room"..."dyes" and "undying greed"..."bloody red" used as the colour of the mosquito's "dye" and also representing my blood that she sucked.

    - Metaphors. The mosquito's compared to a femme fatale to illustrate her deadliness and that only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood. The sustained metaphor comparing a mosquito to a spinner at a loom makes blood the dye for her wool.

    - Alliteration. "femme fatale", shares the same first syllable of "flying". Not a coincidence.

    - Sudden changes of punctuation and capitalization. In the second part, reappearance of punctuation conveys the solemness at the beginning of the second part and the definitiveness of death. Then, going to a more angry, hurried thought once more, I eliminate both punctuation and capitalization once again, returning to the style and memory of the beginning.

    - Non-standard capitalization. I capitalized "random" words in the beginning of the second part to add solemness and seriousness to the death of the second fly.

    - Non-standard line break at the end. The last line's usually including in the second part, in a group of six lines, but I isolated it to give it more prominence, like the rhyming couplets at the end of a Shakespearean sonnet.

    If you understand any of this, good for you! Because I don't think I do, anymore...! Anyway, was it effective?

  2. Wow Mike, if only every sonnet you've written was so thoroughly dissected for us! I've always wondered what poets were trying to accomplish by leaving out punctuation or capitalization, and to answer your question, it is very effective in conveying urgency as you intended. Also, I love the irony of carefully honouring the death the mosquito but then remembering the anger felt for it later on, very humourous. Congratulations on writing 100 sonnets by the way, and good luck on the new style!

  3. Thanks Hillary! I'm glad the dissection helped (this really gives me a good idea for a new sonnet...). I'd be glad to "dissect" more!! It's fun and great to see what people think. Thanks for the congrats! 100 is a big milestone, but I'm still far from my goal (it's a big task obviously). Thanks for the good luck wishes for writing in the new style! It doesn't seem that different, but the structure's a shock to get used to. I've had to come up with much simpler rhymes (example, with "ee", which is common) because there are so many rhymes to keep up throughout the Petrarchan form!

  4. lol! This is great. There's this poem, and then a huge long explanation after it. It's funny! The info was nice, it (kind of?) made me see different types of poems that seemed the same! lol. Anyways, the poem itself really was humorous, and very light and playful, especially with the mosquito being to devious and cunning, which I doubt because it can't even find its way out of a room by backtracking. Very annoying when you're trying to have a little peace and quiet, and you can't drive it out, it won't leave you alone, and it just won't die. Sigh... summer. Very good job on killing it, Mike! But I don't really get why the blood would spin in her loom and then get out...

  5. I mean, not get out, but go "splat" and then you find it another day, still alive...? or is it another one?

  6. No - the "blood loom mosquito" thing is a metaphor...and obviously a bit confusing. The mosquito "spins at her loom" (weaving), which is her "job" (which is really to suck blood.) When she is sucking blood, she is "collecting" blood to colour or dye her wool and yarn red, a metaphor for what she's doing when biting humans/animals.

    Ok, to clarify the "plot"...the first mosquito I splatted on the wall, and my blood inside of it splattered all across the wall. The next day, I found another mosquito that was dusty and dead on my table. I saw it, and gave it a "funeral", then remembering my previous experience, I angrily crushed it, and the next day the weather changed colder, which I hoped it killed the rest of the damn mosquitoes, in vein of my revenge! haha ;)

  7. Uh...thank you, Mr. "online blackjack Paypal"?


A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

- Emily Dickinson

Thanks, Wordle!