Search results for ‘sonnet’

Sonnet III for Part I

Verso de cabo rato – “lines with unfinished endings”  (A silly sonnet technique utilized at the beginning of Part I)

Hero, newly knighted, clearly cra – ,

Mounts Rocinante; oft adventur -,

Stout Sancho by his side and rather la-,

Yet often simply wise in reason – .

Windmills, giants, goatherds, much lament – ,

Blankets, castles, helmet of Mambri – ,

Felons, naked penance, secret schem – ,

Characters surprised at Don, our he – .

Women beautiful such as Luscin – ,

Shepherdess Marcella, Doro – ,

Teenaged Clara, even Moor Zorai – ,

But no one can compare to Dulcin – !

So what will happen to the One Who Sorr –  ?

Part II will fill a few of our tomorr – .


Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Don Quixote


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Sonnet II for Part I

A member of the Mothers United
Against Brain Atrophy


So finally Book One is put to rest.
In its pages so many things occurred.
I hope there will not be a final test
For what I recall is just the absurd.

A cardboard helmet, an ugly maiden,
Enchanted castle that was just an inn,
Wooly knights, and tangent stories laden
These were parts that often made my head spin.

Pivotal blanket toss,  unneeded fights,
Beautiful ladies, and magic tonic –
It could heal even the severed-off knight,
But it made Sancho sick.  How ironic.

Literary significance, I say,
Will have to wait until another day.


Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Don Quixote


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Sonnet for Part I

Don Quixote is anything but brief:
Dozens of characters and lengthy prose.
Finishing Part One is quite a relief.
Starting Part Two is the least of my woes.

How to remember everything so far?
Composing a clever, review sonnet
Quickly will give my memory a jar.
Chivalry books and a basin helmet

Castle inn, windmills, balsam, and beatings
Chain-gang freed, secret marriage, sheep army
Captive’s story, wife swap, princess meetings,
Inappropriate Curiosity

And now I’m waiting for some enchantment
To guide my classic literary judgement.


Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Don Quixote


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Trading Sonnets for Limericks

There are sonnets scattered throughout Don Quixote, yet the slapstick humor that is found in the novel makes me think that limericks are a more fitting style of poetry for Cervantes’ work.  So, I have composed a limerick about our knight and his refusal to be mortally wounded in his adventures.

Oh, battered Knight of the Sorry Face
Not many of your teeth left in place
Rocks thrown at your head
Skull bashed while in bed
At the graveyard, we’ll save you a space.

Anyone else have a Don Quixote-inspired limerick to share?

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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in Don Quixote


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An Uneducated Sonnet

The quest to have an educated mind

has me start with reading Don Quixote.

Go furiously!  Don’t be left behind.

Hundreds of pages: I’ll read night and day.


Sonnets, obscure people, Latin phrases…

Introduction, prologue, and translations.

I start, but feel I’m lost in mazes.

Need dictionary for definitions.


Keep a journal and character list make.

Psych one’s self up and promise to begin.

Start a blog and gravatar photo take.

When my poor brain’s withered, then I win?


Commence chapter one; mad knights make me smile.

Catching insanity, I read a while.


Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Don Quixote


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A Strange(r) Haiku

Back in the day this blog had poetry.
Poetry that we wrote ourselves.
Poetry that was inspired by the classic works we read: cinquain, acrostic, haiku, limerick, and even sonnets.

Why did we stop?
I suspect novel content.  Not novel as in new, but novel as in book.  The content of our books took a turn to the dark side, and it has felt wrong to craft poetic works about murder, greed, and infidelity.

Bleak subject matter or not, I am taking back poetry.


Mersault’s Haiku

Shooting on the beach
Why? The sun was in my eyes.
Guillotine for me.


Posted by on October 18, 2013 in The Stranger


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Uninvited and Invited

Peter Walsh tells us a secret about Clarissa’s husband.  Mrs. D cover 4
Mr. Dalloway doesn’t think people should read Shakespeare.

But how could she swallow all that stuff about poetry?  How could she let him hold forth about Shakespeare?  Seriously and solemnly Richard Dalloway got on his hind legs and said that no decent man ought to read Shakespeare’s sonnets because it was like listening at keyholes (besides, the relationship was not one that he approved).

Well, Richard, I’m going to have to uninvite you from our book club.  When we reach the poetry section of The Well-Educated Mind, we are going to read sonnets.  Lots of them.

If Septimus Warren Smith had not impulsively thrown himself out the window, I would have personally delivered his invite to read along with us.  For you see, he was

…one of those half-educated, self-educated men whose education is all learnt from books borrowed from public libraries, read in the evening after the day’s work, on the advice of well-known authors consulted by letter.

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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Mrs. Dalloway


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WEM Reading List

We’re using Susan Wise Bauer’s reading list from The Well-Educated Mind.  She allows for substitutions, but all three of us are first-borns and we like to follow the rules.  Anything less, or different, or even out of order from this list, would feel like cheating.

You don’t like cheaters, do you?  We didn’t think so.

Here are the titles, but we strongly encourage you to get your own copy of WEM, because SWB’s list is beautifully annotated, and includes recommended editions.  Not to mention that she doesn’t just tell you what to read, but also how to read it.  Important stuff.

Since we have multiple readers I won’t clutter up the list with lots of designations.  Just these:
Finished Titles
Currently Reading 


  1. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
  2. The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
  3. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
  4. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  5. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  6. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
  7. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  8. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
  9. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  10. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  11. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  12. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  13. The Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
  14. The Portrait of a Lady– Henry James
  15. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  16. Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
  17. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  18. The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
  19. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  20. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  21. The Trial – Franz Kafka
  22. Native Son – Richard Wright
  23. The Stranger – Albert Camus
  24. 1984 – George Orwell
  25. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
  26. Seize the Day – Saul Bellow
  27. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez
  28. If on a winter’s night a traveler – Italo Calvino
  29. Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  30. White Noise – Don Delillo
  31. Possession – A.S. Byatt


  1. The Confessions – Augustine
  2. The Book of Margery Kempe – Margery Kemp
  3. Essays – Michel de Montaigne
  4. The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself – Teresa of Ávila
  5. Meditations – René Descartes
  6. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners – John Bunyan
  7. The Narrative of the Captivity of Restoration – Mary Rowlandson
  8. Confessions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  9. An Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – Benjamin Franklin
  10. Walden – Henry David Thoreau
  11. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written By Herself – Harriet Jacobs
  12. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass – Frederick Douglass
  13. Up from Slavery – Booker T. Washington
  14. Ecce Homo – Friedrich Nietzsche
  15. Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler
  16. An Autobiography:  The Story of My Experiments with Truth – Mohandas Gandhi
  17. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein
  18. The Seven Storey Mountain – Thomas Merton
  19. Surprised by Joy:  The Shape of My Early Life – C.S. Lewis
  20. The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X
  21. Journal of a Solitude – May Sarton
  22. The Gulag Archipelago – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
  23. Born Again – Charles W. Colson
  24. Hunger of Memory:  The Education of Richard Rodriguez – Richard Rodriguez
  25. The Road from Coorain – Jill Ker Conway
  26. All Rivers Run to the Sea:  Memoirs – Elie Wiesel


  1. The Histories – Herodotus
  2. The Peloponnesian War – Thucydides
  3. The Republic – Plato
  4. Lives – Plutarch
  5. The City of God – Augustine
  6. The Ecclesiastical History of the English People – Bede
  7. The Prince – Niccolò Machiavelli
  8. Utopia – Thomas More
  9. The True End of Civil Government – John Locke
  10. The History of England, Volume V – David Hume
  11. The Social Contract – Jean-Jasques Rousseau
  12. Common Sense – Thomas Paine
  13. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Edward Gibbon
  14. A Vindication of the Rights of Women – Mary Wollstonecraft
  15. Democracy in America – Alexis de Tocqueville
  16. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
  17. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy – Jacob Burckhardt
  18. The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B. Du Bois
  19. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism – Max Weber
  20. Queen Victoria – Lytton Strachey
  21. The Road to Wigan Pier – George Orwell
  22. The New England Mind – Perry Miller
  23. The Great Crash – John Kenneth Galbraith
  24. The Longest Day – Cornelius Ryan
  25. The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan
  26. Roll, Jordan, Roll:  The World the Slaves Made – Eugene D. Genovese
  27. The Distant Mirror:  The Calamitous Fourteenth Century – Barbara Tuchman
  28. All the President’s Men – Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
  29. Battle Cry of Freedom:  The Civil War Era – James M. McPherson
  30. A Midwife’s Tale:  The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  31. The End of History and the Last Man – Francis Fukuyama


  1. Agamemnon – Aeschylus
  2. Oedipus the King – Sophocles
  3. Medea – Euripides
  4. The Birds – Aristophanes
  5. Poetics – Aristotle
  6. Everyman
  7. Doctor Faustus – Christopher Marlowe
  8. Richard III – William Shakespeare
  9. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
  10. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  11. Tartuffe – Moliere
  12. The Way of the World – William Congreve
  13. She Stoops to Conquer – Oliver Goldsmith
  14. The School for Scandal – Richard Brinsley Sheridan
  15. A Doll’s House – Henrik Ibsen
  16. The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde
  17. The Cherry Orchard – Anton Chekhov
  18. Saint Joan – George Bernard Shaw
  19. Murder in the Cathedral – T. S. Elliot
  20. Our Town – Thornton Wilder
  21. Long Day’s Journey Into Nght – Eugene O’Neill
  22. No Exit – Jean Paul Sartre
  23. A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
  24. Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
  25. Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett
  26. A Man for All Seasons – Robert Bolt
  27. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Tom Stoppard
  28. Equus – Peter Shaffer


  1. The Epic of Gilgamesh
  2. The Iliad and the Odyssey – Homer
  3. Greek Lyricists
  4. Odes – Horace
  5. Beowulf
  6. Inferno – Dante Alighieri
  7. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  8. The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
  9. Sonnets – William Shakespeare
  10. John Donne
  11. Psalms – King James Bible
  12. Paradise Lost – John Milton
  13. Songs of Innocence and of Experience – William Blake
  14. William Wordsworth
  15. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  16. John Keats
  17. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  18. Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  19. Walt Whitman
  20. Emily Dickinson
  21. Christina Rossetti
  22. Gerard Manley Hopkins
  23. William Butler Yeats
  24. Paul Laurence Dunbar
  25. Robert Frost
  26. Carl Sandburg
  27. William Carlos Williams
  28. Ezra Pound
  29. T. S. Eliot
  30. Langston Hughes
  31. W.H. Auden

A Limerick for Two Royal Pains

I started reading DQ and wrote a sonnet.  After a few chapters, composing a limerick was in order.  This caused a rash of enjoyable limericks on our blog.  At the conclusion of Part I, there were several sonnets crafted.  While my brain recovers from 982 pages of knight-errantry, I’m back to jotting down limericks.  This one is dedicated to my least favorite DQ characters. 

You’re cruel, Duke and Duchess, I think.
From hoaxes, mean tricks, you don’t shrink.
     You enjoy it–true?!
     Selfish, through and through
As Don Quixote’s friends, you stink.


Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Don Quixote


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