Blog pause

The cricket is so enjoyable that I almost regret the fact that tomorrow I’m going to the Dorgogne to spend a week eating, drinking and being merry with a bunch of friends. Here’s a picture of Marie Lloyd for you to look at during my absence:

The Queen of Innuendo

Come on, Freddie!

Last summer Flintoff demonstrated that he’s capable of playing himself in and getting big centuries. Now let’s see him do it again. And let’s be greedy – KP hasn’t got a test century yet.

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14 line poems

Mike Snider asked ‘why do people insist on calling any 14-line poem a sonnet?’ and KSM replied at length. His argument is very reasonable. If ‘it is next to impossible for any poetry-literate reader to see a fourteen-line poem and not think “sonnet”‘, it seems a pity, since that dilutes whatever interesting distinctiveness sonnets have, but if readers really do see sonnets everywhere that battle is already lost.


I slightly wonder

I slightly wonder whether it’s true;
If I saw a fourteen-line poem which
was laid out in a little block on the
page, with those sonnet-y proportions,
a little bit taller than it is wide —
shaped, in fact, like a sonnet, I would
probably make the connection; even
more so if there was a little gap

to mark a notional ‘volta’ and divide
the preambulary or thetical octet
from the conclusive or antithetical
sestet; and even if the implied
sonnetesque rhetorical structure
turned out to be just white space.


I’m not

on the other hand
so sure

faced with a poem which
meandered in an irregular


down the page,
I would
notice whether it had
fourteen lines.

If it occured to me it might,
I’d have to count them to check,