Thursday, November 3, 2011


So long I have been carrying myself
Carefully, carefully, like a small child
With too much water in a real glass
Clasped between two hands, across a space as vast
As living rooms, while gazes watch the waves
That start to rile the little inland sea
And slap against the cliffs' transparency,
Revise and meet, double their amplitude,
Harmonizing doubt from many ifs.
Distant frowns like clouds begin to brood.
Soon there is overbrimming. Soon the child
Looks up to find a face to match the scolding,
And just as he does, the vessel he was holding
Is almost set down safely on the bookshelf.

--A. E. Stallings

Stallings says about Containment: 'I don't want its "sonnetude" to be the first thing to hit the reader, I just want the reader to enter it as a poem. But the sonnet is a form of immense versatility, flexibility and usefulness...very often about either containment or the opposite, the inability to constrain or limit something - this is part of the sonnet's inherent self-referentiality.'

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