"Jack Sprat and His Wife" by Frederick Richardson.‘A Slice’ and Other Petrarchan Sonnets by Peter J. Austin The Society June 5, 2021 Culture, Humor, Poetry 9 Comments . A Slice from a sonnet by Eleanor Alexander For me, my friends, no graveside vigil keep, With gnashing teeth and sodden handkerchief And grievous howls of outraged disbelief That I, so virile once, am six feet deep. Console yourselves that he is but asleep, This life below a mere aperitif, Perfunctory and bittersweet and brief, To heaven’s endless banquet. Why, then, weep? Rather, for all the years I may survive, Show, in wide, obsequious smiles, your teeth, To pleasure me with gifts and favours strive (More efficacious, far, than graveside wreath!). If, in slavishness, you deep-enough dive, You may get a slice of what I bequeath. . . A Bargain from a sonnet by Philip Sidney I have my true-love’s heart and she has mine By just exchange, one for the other, given: There never was a bargain better driven (Perhaps, indeed, by impetus divine? How else achieve so perfect a design?). Not that, until we met, we hadn’t thriven, Yet, vertically challenged, she had striven (What carpenter considers four-feet-nine?) To reach her upper shelves. And, what of I, Who bear no such diminishment in height? Though, once, I strove to bake a chicken pie It didn’t justify a second bite; Now, I retrieve the platters from on high And leave her to supply our appetite. . . Sauce for the Goose From a John Barlas sonnet. William Wilson (an 18th century Pennsylvanian) lived his last nineteen years in a cave, feeding himself by making millstones and otherwise avoiding all contact with humanity. When in the lonely stillness of the grave I merge into the clay from which I came, This is my petition: respect the name I gave you; do not stoop to misbehave As many widows have, whom Eros drave, With palpitating heart and loins aflame, Into the ever-waiting arms of shame In the shape of some dissipated knave! —What’s that you say about sauce for the goose? If I understand you, should you die first I must consign my manhood to disuse, By some vow of immaculacy cursed To live like William Wilson, a recluse? Woman, of termagants you are the worst! . . Peter Austin is a retired Professor of English who lives in Toronto with his younger two daughters. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 9 Responses jd June 5, 2021 Enjoyed all three of these, Mr. Austin, and was not at all surprised to learn that you were a Professor of English. Reply Joe Tessitore June 5, 2021 As did I. Good reads, all three! Reply Ryan Watch June 5, 2021 Delectable and delightful reads for my avid mind Mr. Austin! Your diverting verses have made my day. Reply Gail June 5, 2021 I particularly liked the second–I’ve noticed throughout life that many diminutive women marry giants with practical skills. I always wonder who initiated the relationship. The other two reminded me of something else I’ve noticed–many seem to want to direct the behavior of the living from beyond the grave. I can only think what a blessing it must be to outlive someone so domineering. Reply Daniel Kemper June 5, 2021 Thank you for these! I particularly liked the cunning last two lines of “A Slice”. Reply Paul Buchheit June 5, 2021 Very nice, Peter. Love the iambic pentameter! Reply C.B. Anderson June 5, 2021 There’s no fat in your sonnets, Jack — I mean, Peter. These are wryly twisted pieces. Reply Cynthia Erlandson June 6, 2021 I vote for aperitif/handkerchief/disbelief as one of the top ten (or two?) marvelous rhymes of the year! Delightful poems with a lively humorous touch! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 9, 2021 I love the wisdom, wit and wonder of this eloquent and mellifluous trio of sonnets. The archaic air adds to the hilarity. Great stuff! Thank you! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.