My dictionary says that “sonneteer”
Implies a poet who is second rate!
Tell that, Pedantic Wretch, to Will Shakespeare,
To Sydney, Spenser, Milton—clearly great—
And later Keats and even Robert Frost,
All eminent sonneteers, from Petrarch to
Dick Wilbur. Say their venerable form’s exhaust,
Call them mere hacks, and see what will ensue!
The wrath of centuries surely will descend
Upon your head when one the Muse selects
Takes pen in hand to gallantly defend
Against what boorish folly disrespects.
Though every sonneteer is not a master,
They’ve all more prowess, Sir, than you can muster.