Incandescent War Poem Sonnet

By Bernadette Mayer b. 1945 Bernadette Mayer
Even before I saw the chambered nautilus
I wanted to sail not in the us navy
Tonight I'm waiting for you, your letter
At the same time his letter, the view of you
By him and then by me in the park, no rhymes
I saw you, this is in prose, no it's not
Sitting with the molluscs & anemones in an
Empty autumn enterprise baby you look pretty
With your long eventual hair, is love king?
What's this? A sonnet? Love's a babe we know that
I'm coming up, I'm coming, Shakespeare only stuck
To one subject but I'll mention nobody said
You have to get young Americans some ice cream
In the artificial light in which she woke

"Incandescent War Poem Sonnet" by Bernadette Mayer, from A Bernadette Mayer Reader. Copyright © 1968 by Bernadette Mayer. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Source: A Bernadette Mayer Reader (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1992)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Bernadette Mayer b. 1945

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Subjects Social Commentaries, Poetry & Poets, War & Conflict, Relationships, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Prose Poem

 Bernadette  Mayer

Biography

An avant-garde writer associated with the New York School of poets, Bernadette Mayer was born in Brooklyn, New York, and has spent most of her life in New York City. Her collections of poetry include Midwinter Day (1982, 1999), A Bernadette Mayer Reader (1992), The Desire of Mothers to Please Others in Letters (1994), Another Smashed Pinecone (1998), and Poetry State Forest (2008). Known for her innovative use of language, . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Poetry & Poets, War & Conflict, Relationships, Arts & Sciences

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Prose Poem

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.