So, I’ve been experimenting with sonnets, just to see how hard it might be. The verdict: Sonnets are very hard. It makes me appreciate Shakespeare on a different level. Here are two of my attempts.


Back then I could pronounce their names, the ones

They called themselves, each one different.

We walked together ‘neath a single sun;

I had nothing for to be repentant.

This loss, of all things, most grieves my conscience:

With my first taste of flesh, I was transformed.

My ears closed up, and I lost the nuance

Of animal speech and the voice inside storms.

Now, the high-lonesome wind just sounds forlorn

And I’ve forgotten the words to the birds’ songs.

My woman mostly looks at me in scorn,

between us a distance many words long.

Sometimes I think I almost understand

The ragged sparrow who still finds my hand.



My husband was obsessed with gods and names—

“An oak,” he’d say, pointing. He called me Eve.

From him I learned to sniff for rain

Which was god, he said, as was breeze.

We did in those days just as we pleased,

And met the gods for supper once a week.

Adam milked the goats, I made the cheese;

In time our eyes grew bright, our bellies sleek.

But as the days unspooled I came to think

That there was something crucial we yet lacked

And also lacked the name for such a thing.

Restless, tetchy, I stepped out back

And—Oh!—the sweetness of that forbidden fruit!

To know the thing I was. To learn the truth.