Steven Withrow

Since I often write “formal” poetry that uses meter and rhyme, I have decided to tell you about myself in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet.

The sonnet is a 14-line rhymed verse form in iambic pentameter (10-syllable lines with a pattern of five strong stresses) that originated in 13th-century Italy.

Three centuries later, in England, William Shakespeare created his own variation of the Italian sonnet, and he chose the following end rhymes: abab cdcd efef gg.

Before you read my sonnet, I ought to mention that I speak and write in American English.

In American English we paint with our favorite colors. We even maneuver down a sidewalk to play soccer on a field. No fancy u’s or footpaths or football pitches here. And we drive our cars in the wrong (the right) lane and keep our boots in the trunk.

Before I learned to read, I listened long
To Mother Goose and Dr. Seuss’s rhymes.
My sisters played piano, but the song
For me was in the words. And oftentimes
You’d find me, still a tot, entranced among
My picture books. I started with the sounds
Of consonants which tripped up lips and tongue
And made me feel I’d bounced clear out of bounds
Like a booted basketball. When vowels hit,
I lazed about, repeating “eye” and “ooh”
To nobody at all. And here I sit,
Four decades older, with nothing else to do
But fill up lines with syllables and hope
To write as well as Dickinson or Pope.

Note on the last line: The names refer to Emily Dickinson, American poet of the 19th century, and Alexander Pope, English poet of the 18th century.

Thanks, Steven. We keep our trunks in the boot of course. Or the glove compartment. Which is somewhere that we rarely keep our gloves.

Check out the review for Steven’s book, It’s Not My Fault, in The Poetry Zone reviews.

and visit Steven’s most excellent website, Crackles of Speech.

It's Not My Fault

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