If being a woman in the 20th century with a poetry collection that is titled The Sonnets isn’t brazen enough, then using the word fuck 19 times in one poem has to be. Poet Sandra Simonds apologizes for nothing. If you’re looking for a speaker that is bold, surprisingly blunt, and funny, this is your collection. Reading the poem, “Ducks Floating Serenely across Pond Makes Scenery Serene” on a gloomy Monday morning captured my spirit and made me laugh. Check out the following lines: “Fuck all I say I say fuck all. / Fuck fruit fuck man fuck beast fuck herb,” (lines 1-2).
That’s only the beginning of the poem, and it only gets better from there: “Fuck the octopus, the kangaroo, / the summer grass, idiotic and swirling” (lines 11-12). The reason I loved this poem so much is because it gets to the point, it’s hilarious, and it just feels good to read. This is one of those poems that could have easily gone wrong if placed in a different section of the book or if the speaker in the collection wasn’t consistent, but it’s thoughtfully placed.
Another poem that I enjoyed from this collection is “Come Back” which reads, “This is not the way a good woman / should be reserved but I’m all impulse / and want to show you my house and my garden see” (lines 4-7). The speaker is sarcastic and desperate, funny and serious.
The Sonnets utilizes unexpected techniques such as inserting hearts between the lines (read “I Love You So So So Soooooo Much”), putting an entire link in the middle of a poem (check “Collapsible Sledgehammer”), while also telling you to “Google it” in line 5 of “Lace Clouds over House over House over House over House.” I’m obsessed with this collection, people. Other poems I enjoyed were “Golden Buddha,” “Come Back!” “Camp Vagina Lake,” “Master of Fine Arts” and every other goddamn poem in the collection because it’s fucking brilliant.
The cover also looks great. First off, matted cover. That shit just feels good to hold (Hugs Book). Secondly, the title is in giant bolded letters, which are juxtaposed with the dark gray background. The entire collection is 77 pages, and compromises four sections. Every poem in the collection is 14 lines.
Can’t get enough of Simonds? Her new collection, Steal It Back is now out. Buy it here (I’ll be reviewing Steal It Back as soon as my copy comes in (SO EXCITED). Also, follow her on Twitter. She’s hilarious and it’ll make your day.
Photo courtesy of Bloof Books.
Buy The Sonnets here.