Tuesday, November 3, 2015


25209833The sonnet is the most useful and, arguably, the most-popular poetic form in English. Long-lived, brief, fashioned by rhyme, sharing private contemplation at its best. Here are thirty-three such momentary monuments.


Charles Gerard Timm shares an unrequited love story through sonnets in his book titled simply, Sonnets. In this collection of thirty-three poems, Timm takes a unique look at love -- one that is confined to the rules of the sonnet, a popular yet difficult poem construct. 

A sonnet has one main rule: there can only be fourteen lines and each line must have exactly ten syllables. This makes word usage and description a challenge, especially when you're trying to tell a story on top of it. Timm's focus and daring endeavor impressed me, to say the least. The story was even easy to understand. 

Sonnets focus is that of a man who falls in love with a woman during a dark time in his life. "The stage boards chilled me like a winter beach/ Of pricking winds and cutting shells and foam/ till tender... And then, one day, you strolled that gritty space/ In spots of light that gave the dark a chase..." (III). Happiness duly follows until he discovers that a romantic relationship with this woman is unattainable. "She's wedded, but labels love is blind,/ And love it is extinguishing my mind..." (IV). Happiness morphs to heartbreak but there is still a light in the darkness. "I saw her flanked by husband and by child... I pray now for their happiness, all three" (XIII).

Readers will enjoy this creative story as they witness the poet falling in love and struggling to accept the unrequited nature that sometimes accompanies that fickle emotion. I thoroughly enjoyed this inventive and unexpected storytelling endeavor. With each sonnet portraying a piece of the puzzle, when all combined a moment in this poet's world is exposed. In a word, it's touching. And I feel, now that I know the main story, I can reread and reexamine the sonnets individually and gain even more of a connection with this narrator. Bravo, Timm. 

Rating: 3/5

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