THE SONNET TRADITION
“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down,”
The twelve of you began our seminar
On sonnets with some trepidations, but
At term’s end now, you see we’ve traveled far
And wide in what you thought might be a rut.
The vast expanse of global sonnetry,
From Petrarch down to Nemerov and Frost,
Has proved a field of dreams whereon we see
A game that many play and most have lost—
A game like baseball with its numerous rules
And umps to call you out when caught off base,
Or, better, tennis, where you’d look like fools
Without a net to demonstrate your grace.
As long as poets write and readers hear,
Posterity shall praise the sonneteer.