Love Sonnets

Love Sonnets

Carol is over there at Paris Breakfasts torturing me with more paintings and photos of Fauchon, which she KNOWS I am no longer allowed into. (Even though, seriously, the reason was not my fault.)

And I just noticed that they have the two winning love sonnets from The State of Things contest for copies of Blame It on Paris posted. (The contest they ran for the Valentine’s Day interview last week.) I have to say, I am impressed. Because when they popped back into the green room 1 minute before the show and said they’d decided to make the contest for the best love sonnet, I thought, “Wait, are you nuts? You will get NO entries. Sonnets are HARD.”

But not only did they get entries, they got great entries. In fact, I strongly suspect that the two winners did NOT just whip those things out there after they heard the interview, that they were carefully crafted over time by two poets in the audience.

That always fascinates me, the things people are doing usually unperceived by most of the people they cross paths with–writing poetry or stories, creating art… The blogging world also seems to have an extremely high density of people who are doing things like that, or maybe it’s just that blogging is a medium that allows that side to be seen more clearly, as opposed to the side that goes and buys groceries and deals with cable companies.

I also have a theory that blogging might encourage creativity. Take food bloggers, for example. Mimi might have thoughts about this to share, but it seems to me blogging about food must in itself help to focus on all the detailed pleasures of a dish and of making it just as it must be an inspiration/encouragement to think of another dish for the next time. Maybe without the blog and the inspiration it brings back to the blogger, food-blogging households would be eating a lot more take-out.

Speaking of food-blogging, I did a very idiotic thing and submitted my Truffles Nefarious story to the food-blogging world’s monthly Sugar High Fridays. And now it is just sitting there humbly among all these glorious dishes and photos. Which I knew it would be. Given Some People’s accusations that I am obsessed with food it’s probably obvious that I have looked at food blogs before. But I got carried away with the story of it and forgot that the people actually looking at the SHF roundup would be focusing a little bit more on the Food. And the gorgeous photos.


Meanwhile, since we are on my shortcomings, not only am I not up to food blogger standards but I have never been able to write a single good sonnet. BUT, you see how I’m sneaking around to a brag, because I HAVE mastered the…wait for it, it’s a hard one…almost no one masters it…the…VILLANELLE.

In FACT, I have only won 2 poetry contests and had 3 published poems in my life, and one of them was in a journal that published 500 poems by different poets and paid the poets $2 each and then offered the journal, if they wanted a copy of their published poem, at the regular price of $8. Which I thought was pretty smart on their part.

And one of them was a villanelle. Fortunately, it was one of the poetry contest winners and not one of the published ones. I say “fortunately” because, you know, it IS a fantastic villanelle in terms of poetry. Really. But I prefer to TELL you that rather than expose it to you and leave you to judge for yourself.

Because the poetry contest was a children’s poetry contest, and I was a child (which I just mention in case anyone thought I was entering children’s poetry contests as an adult). And which, you know, might be what caught the judges’ attention. How many other villanelles could possible have been entered? Which is not to say that my villanelle isn’t fantastic. It IS. It scans like anything. But it is MAYBE just a tad overwrought and sentimental in terms of its actual subject material.

I had this passionate belief in whales and dolphins and Earth back then, you see. Which I still have, especially now that I have actually seen whales and dolphins. And when you have seen Dusky Dolphins leaping and doing twin somersaults over the waves, and you have seen a giant sperm whale flip up its giant tail to dive and get away from those pesky, hyperactive little dolphins that keep coming around to interfere with its peace and quiet; well, then, you definitely believe in them.

You just don’t believe in writing about them in overwrought and sentimental fashion which includes lines like…well, I’m just not going to go into it.

Still, if I ever have another truffle contest (which I will NOT; I can’t take giving away truffles anymore; my doctor said it was wrecking my health), it will be for the best villanelle. Because I am getting more crafty as time goes on and bet nobody would enter, so I could eat all the truffles myself…

  • WAIT!
    Please reveal why you are not allowed into Fauchon?
    Because of “Alida” in the book..?
    Does the soon-to-be-extinct New York store know of you too?
    Catch a plane and be here by tomorrow or you will have to wait to not be allowed in, when the new Fauchon (hopefully) opens around Xmas, if it does ever open.
    Believe me, I was tempted by those chocolate-covered almonds you wrote of..
    But there were so many things I was tempted by and I’d heard their confiture, mustards and vinegars are a must..
    Plus there are FREE madelaines and macarons for those who spend too much (guess who)
    That sonnet contest was a douzy.
    Was it fixed?
    Limmericks are as far as I go as rhyming simon…
    I must go paint my Fauchon booty…bought strictly for research!

    February 24, 2007 at 4:50 pm
  • Ha! I always have something to say.

    First off, truffles are very good for your health, no doubt. I’m givng them up though, until Paris (A) So I can fit into the plane seat and (B) So I can buy some in Paris.

    About food blogging: It has forced me to become less slapdash in the kitchen, although I still “eyeball” as (as the much-maligned RR puts it) and I make substitutions right and left.

    I have seen dolphins but not whales. Unless I keep eating truffles. Then I might see one in the mirror.

    February 24, 2007 at 4:52 pm
  • KEEPING truffles and eating them yourself is good for your health. Giving them away is brutal. Also, I feel pretty sure truffles and mirrors should not be mentioned in the same sentence.

    Well, allowed. Maybe I should say that I do not feel comfortable going into Fauchon unless heavily disguised, preferably with a wig. YES because of Adela. For all I know, they do know of us in New York. They might send each other photos of people to keep an eye out for.

    That is pretty smart about the research. So ALL your goodies are tax-deductible. And it’s very easy to prove it, too, you just point to the painting. I like that. I did ask an accountant if several years of my whole life could be tax-deductible, and particularly all the expenses involved in 4 weddings, given that I wrote a memoir on those weddings and they wanted to tax me on the “profits”, but the accountant seemed to think that one wouldn’t fly.

    February 24, 2007 at 6:02 pm
  • Carol has a brilliant plan, no doubt, along with all that talent.

    I’m afraid if I went into Fauchon, they would see the words “Bumpkin from Wisconsin” stamped on my forehead.

    That’s why I wear bangs.

    February 24, 2007 at 7:39 pm
  • Laura, I was just talking about villanelles today! To Chris! How crazy is that? Because how often does anyone talk about villanelles to begin with? It’s one of my favorite forms, and some of my favorite poems are villanelles. “One Art,” for example. Anyway. I’ll stop going on. That first sonnet, by the way–I liked it quite a bit.

    And I don’t think you’re obsessed with food…you just have a fine appreciation of good food. I knew you’d appreciate that cake. The dairy/bakery is not as fine-looking as anything in Paris, I’m sure, but there’s something to be said for cow-fresh cream. I mean, you can see the cows from the door of the bakery. I’m thinking we need to think up an excuse to drive more than an hour just to get a cake from that place.

    February 24, 2007 at 7:50 pm
  • Ok, giving away truffles is really, really bad, but one can never stop giving away signed books to contests! SOME of us just LOVE winning them. 😉 Thanks, can’t wait to get my hands on it!

    I, too, love the villanelle. Sonnets gave me fits. I really want to write poetry again (someone suggested a poetry journal once to free my creative thoughts from the evil grip of a fiction WIP), but I haven’t written anything since college. I have some stuff I was supposed to develop into a chapbook, but, well, uh, I didn’t.

    February 24, 2007 at 9:35 pm
  • So now I am forewarned. No villanelle contests! There are multiple villanelle experts lying in wait! Although…what are the odds? Are you saying you’ve both written lots of villanelles? Because I only wrote the one “good” one (already mentioned), and I was so impressed with its success, I thought maybe I would write villanelles for ALL the poetry contests I saw in the future, but…that didn’t turn out so well.

    Cow-fresh cream…it’s like night and day to the stuff we get in the stores.

    February 25, 2007 at 6:00 am
  • eating can be considered my hobby he he he. i would really love to visit foods blogs and see some recipes ;;.

    December 13, 2010 at 2:09 am

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