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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

4/5 & 4/6 :: two sonnets and then some.

John Keats "Bright Star" ---> here.

Denis Johnson "Heat" ---> here.

A movie about Keats came out recently that I did enjoy. It was titled "Bright Star" and paced oddly, slowly, but the movie felt appropriate for its subject-matter: poetry. Keats is a romantic poet from early nineteenth century England. In high school, you may have been made to read his "Ode to a Grecian Urn". This sonnet, also, is rather famous, very romantic and also precise. I like it.

Denis Johnson wrote the book of short stories Jesus's Son as well as a few great novels, one which recently one the National Book Award. I have only read Jesus's Son and Already Dead, but I hear the NBA winner, Tree of Smoke, is stellar. Johnson, also, is one of those rare writers who can successfully and without any frustrating overlap write both excellent poetry and excellent fiction. "Heat" is one of my favorites. It's a "sonnet", where "Bright Star" is a sonnet.

Last year in April I wrote many "near sonnets" after thinking for a while that I was in fact writing sonnets and realizing I was not. The online poetry journal Sawbuck published a few in one of its past issues. If you are interested in reading them --and you should check out Sawbuck anyway, it's an excellent online journal-- check two of them out here.

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