About the Poems
by Betsy Wheeler
These “non-sonnets” come from a series I began writing in the summer of 2004, when I discovered some of the generative benefits of working within constraints— in this case, the sonnet and its rhetorical structures. As much as I enjoyed playing with and against that structure, I was also interested in the adamant, defiant, and subversive nature of the “non-” prefix juxtaposed with the obvious admiration of the form itself.
The other two poems here reflect my fondness for the epistle form and a revision technique (thanks, mz!) invested in re-writing poems backwards to see where the energy lies. In the case of “For Miss Hannigan,” both versions stuck because they both seemed to rightly reflect their subjects: two slightly-skewed views of one character used to reflect a whole existence.
All of these poems are from my first book manuscript, Loud Dreaming in a Quiet Room. Thanks, Reb & Molly, for reserving a room for me this week. The pink Egyptian-cotton sheets are choice. The King-size bed with shakes for a quarter— also top-notch.