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Posted February 11, 2013
“So this Sonnet Walks Into a Bar”
I’ve previously reviewed the use of sonics and poetic form in Kenn Pappas’ “Because You Are Dead”—check it out! Everything I’ve mentioned about the use and the intentional, humorous misuse of forms in his work stands.
In this collection, Mr. Pappas attacks the sonnet. Hmmm—who writes sonnets anymore? I mean besides Shakespeare wannabes and the tenured dead. Well, Kenn Pappas does—and he reintroduces one of the sonnet’s best and least known friends—the joke.
Anyway, so this sonnet walks into a bar and “Dancing Queen” is playing. “ABBA!” the sonnet yells. But “Red Spot” isn’t a descent into sophomoric doggerel—there are plenty poems here to satisfy the true lover of this arcane poetic form. However, when it seems apt, Kenn has no qualms about inserting that last GG couplet in true joke form. Take for instance his poem The Boy Across the Street, which ends with:
Nobody'd care if you're dead, they'd say so.
The boy across the street could use your legs, though.
Or in a similar vein, the ending in Learning to Write
It's said `one hundred chimps randomly typed Hamlet.'
It took a zillion years. I haven't started yet
This is sonneteering at its best—forcing the form to trick the reader into the rhyming joke hole. I could take the time to point out Mr. Pappas’ debt to poets such as W.B. Yeats or Robert Lowell—but I’ll let you do that. Pick up this book! You’ll be wrestling with your own couplets in no time.
Posted October 2, 2012
I really enjoyed reading The Red Spot. It is unlike any poetry I've read before. The elements of science incorporated into poetry is both refreshing and unexpected. This collection of poems is a must read!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.