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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sonnet Defined July 25, 2011


I used to think I knew the definition of a sonnet, but now I’m not so sure. I used to believe that a sonnet had fourteen iambic pentameter lines with one of several rhyme schemes to choose from. The Shakespearian, the Spenserian, the Miltonian, the Petrarchian and even the” indefinables”  had some kind of a rhyme scheme, but I have recently seen a number of “sonnets” having fourteen lines alright  of varying line lengths, which I now label  “Plutonian”,  because their rhyme schemes (or lack thereof) explode in your face.  They are usually very nice poems alright, but I would hesitate to call them sonnets. Whenever I write one like that I have always called it an ‘onnet, because I just isn’t quite a sonnet. 

Here is one of my ‘onnets:


Imprisoned in a cell of low degree

Imposed on self by self I know not how

Escape was out of question, so till now

I wallowed in self-scorning misery.

So long there I could scarce recall the days

Of freedom when the air was fresh and young.

My muscles longed to stretch and exercise.

But then among the rubble and debris

I spied a sphere no larger than my palm.

Drawn to its port I peered then entered calm,

Defying laws of space and gravity.

Behold the universe!  What grand arrays!

Ethereal displays! My cell door sprung

Into my inner self I now arise.

The Shack

As I read The Shack, I had to keep reminding myself that this is an allegory. Some readers are put off by the way God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are represented.  God is personified as a “large, African-American Woman” by the name of Papa, the Holy Spirit is personified as a “small Asian Woman” by the name of Sarayu, and Jesus is a homely ‘Middle Eastern man”.  But if the reader can get beyond that, the book addresses such questions as:

If God is Love then why did he create hell?
If God loves us then why is there so much suffering in the world?
Why does He allow deranged people to kidnap abuse and murder innocent children?
What is the Trinity?

So even though you may have your own answers to these and other questions, this book may give you a new refreshing slant, as it did for me.

Each chapter is prefaced with some very fine quotes like:

 “God is a verb” – Buckminster Fuller

“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of his children.
He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part,
but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if
there were no others.”
-      A. W. Tozer.

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully
as when they do it from religious conviction”
-      Blaise Pascal

“Once abolish the God and the government becomes the God.”
-      G. K. Chesterton

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of
Truth and Knowledge
is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods”
-      Albert Einstein

“Sadness is a wall between two gardens”
-      Kahlil Gibran

“The soul is healed by being with children”
-      Fyodor Dostoyevsky