Jim Redmond



This sonnet is called sonnet 116.
It's an especially famous sonnet.
There are still some very interesting
and nice things being mentioned about it.
It marks a certain period of time
in what most academics refer to
now as the sonnet tradition. It rhymes.
What differentiates it from the queue
is the word interesting, how it fits
it into it. But, it still has a gross
of 14. That's how you know what is it.
People who look at this sonnet most
often think, wow, it's so famous right here.     
People who write sonnets are sonneteers.





This poem is the result of thinking about the practice of collecting, and more specifically, what the experience of a museum of poems might feel like. I’ve tried to imagine how a sonnet as an object in the space of a museum as some kind of nationally curated or homogenized collection might function. How would such a collection position the sonnet for aesthetic consumption within a larger narrative about itself, and how could I convey that in the actual form of a sonnet itself? This all sounds a little too theory heavy, but the poem itself is supposed to be super legible in a way that reinforces how overdetermined it is. It actually ends up being kind of funny I think, which is what I like best about it. I'm indebted to Dahlia Porter for getting me to start thinking about some of these things and directing me to the works of other critics such as Susan Stewart, Eric Gidal, and Jean Baudrillard.