Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree

By George Starbuck 1931–1996 George Starbuck
O

fury-

bedecked!

O glitter-torn!

Let the wild wind erect

bonbonbonanzas; junipers affect

frostyfreeze turbans; iciclestuff adorn

all cuckolded creation in a madcap crown of horn!

It’s a new day; no scapegrace of a sect

tidying up the ashtrays playing Daughter-in-Law Elect;

bells! bibelots! popsicle cigars! shatter the glassware! a son born

now

now

while ox and ass and infant lie

together as poor creatures will

and tears of her exertion still

cling in the spent girl’s eye

and a great firework in the sky

drifts to the western hill.

George Starbuck, “Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree” from The Works: Poems Selected from Five Decades. Copyright © 2003 by University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa). Reprinted with the permission of The University of Alabama Press.

Source: Poetry (December 1978).

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This poem originally appeared in the December 1978 issue of Poetry magazine

December 1978
 George  Starbuck

Biography

George Starbuck's songs of protest are usually concerned with love, war, and the spiritual temper of the times. John Holmes believes that "there hasn't been as much word excitement . . . for years," as one finds in Bone Thoughts. Harvey Shapiro points out that Starbuck's work is attractive because of its "witty, improvisational surface, slangy and familiar address, brilliant aural quality . . .," and adds that Starbuck may . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Christianity

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Concrete or Pattern Poetry

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