01 May 2012

Aspects of the sonnet

The sixth of the ten sonnets I'm writing/rewriting/memorising is Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen - in the book I'm using for the source of the sonnets, Poems on the Underground, there's a facsimile of the manuscript of the sonnet -
My method of memorising is to start with the last line and add one line after another, which means that the final line moves down the page, and is the only legible line. As a result the (better-remembered) ends of the poems are the bits that are slushing round in my brain, the rhythm of the lines giving them a sort of music.

One of the things that's hard to remember is the punctuation - the breathing in the poem - so I cut some punctuation marks out of erasers and used them to replicate that aspects of several of the sonnets -
The lines of the poem seem very short, written this way - how to make them more like the poem itself? This led to thinking about the rhythm of the poem - da dum, da dum etc (iambic pentameter) and how the words might have contributed to that - but when you look at the words, most are just one syllable, very plain!, rather than what you might expect of a "poetic" word... As the punctuation falls in the spaces between the words, I decided to indicate the words and spaces to show the role of punctuation in the lines.

After some hours of embroidery onto squared paper, here is "Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part"  - beside it is the scanned version of the stitched page, which is intended to have printed on the reverse not the "wrong side" of the stitching, but the words of the poem -
Here is the reverse of the stitching - after a bit of practice, four-sided stitch settles into a regular rhythm of its own -
However I don't like the look of the punctuation marks on the stitched page, and will think about what to do next....

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