Instant Sonnetby Rhina P. Espaillat
“Soneto de repente,” Lope de Vega, Spanish, 1562-1635
Violante wants a sonnet, just like that.
I’ve been in pickles, but this? A major curse.
I’m told a sonnet’s fourteen lines of verse:
those were the first three up there, off the bat.
I thought that finding rhymes would knock me flat,
but here goes quatrain two, half in my purse,
and if the tercet coming up’s no worse,
those quatrains don’t scare me, I’m standing pat.
Approaching tercet one now: in I go,
and must be doing what I’m doing right,
because with this line here I’ve laid it low.
Now for the second: I suspect I might
be rounding line thirteen: count them to know
if all fourteen are done, fit to recite.