la rosa

Sonnet Stanzas

Within my room, I work to finish lines
that might support the stanzas of a sonnet,
and try to dovetail them as an octet.
But there are crucial problems with my rhymes
before I even smooth the fourth—such signs
of instability, beyond mere nit,
require an innovative retrofit,
to square the verse with classical designs.

But then the lady whom I hope to woo—
not Will’s or Petrarch’s—spells my stanzas’ doom:
You’re pazzo if you think these dives’ll do!
I cannot fret, for she gives me the clue
that rhyming June and moon may cure her gloom
and canonize us in a sonnet room.

Ralph La Rosa writes:
The cover of my chapbook Sonnet Stanzas (White Violet Press 2013) invites readers into music rooms, implied by the Italian and English meanings of the title.  There will be “little songs” of fourteen lines, traditionally grouped in the “rooms” of formal stanzas.
But adherence to Petrarchan or Shakespearian forms is inconsistent. As the title poem “Sonnet Stanzas” illustrates, there will be variations, some having only the slightest ghost of the original structure (which was invented by a Sicilian, Jacopo da Lentini).
This poem suggests that sonnets may at times need an “innovative retrofit” of their rooms and rhymes. And the sestet echoes laments of lovelorn troubadours who may have influenced the Sicilian sonneteer and those who echo him.

If you have any comments on this publication, or questions about it,  Ralph La Rosa  would be pleased to hear from you.