Sunday, October 22, 2023

from "American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin" by Terrance Hayes


The black poet would love to say his century began
With Hughes or God forbid, Wheatley, but actually
It began with all the poetry weirdos & worriers, warriors,
Poetry whiners & winos falling from ship bows, sunset
Bridges & windows. In a second I'll tell you how little
Writing rescues. My hunch is that Sylvia Plath was not
Especially fun company. A drama queen, thin-skinned,
And skittery, she thought her poems were ordinary.
What do you call a visionary who does not recognize
Her vision? Orpheus was alone when he invented writing.
His manic drawing became a kind of writing when he sent
His beloved sketch of an eye with an X struck through it.
He meant I am blind without you. She thought he meant
I never want to see you again. It is possible he meant that, too.

Source of the text - Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin.  New York: Penguin Books, 2018, page 5.

TJB: Consonant comment. This long-lined, verbose sonnet moves essaylike through poetry in the octet, dallying on Plath, then goes Orphic in the sestet.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me