Written by SEYMOUR MAYNE
Drawings by Sebastian Frye
This new book of word sonnets by Seymour Mayne, one of the chief innovators of the form, is being published to highlight fifty years since the poet’s first collection of poetry was published in Montreal. Cusp: Word Sonnets will shortly be published in a limited illustrated signed edition and a regular trade paper edition.
The word sonnet is a relatively new variation of the traditional form. In essence, it is a fourteen line poem, with one word set for each line.
What the critics have said:
“Mayne creates some incredible images here….The poet uses the form perfectly, there is no room and no need for any other words; fourteen is enough. Like a Polaroid photo, these sonnets capture an image, an instant; and like haiku, become an inhale-exhale.”
“This is a tight, well crafted sequence, with Mayne revealing himself as a master word sonneteer.”
“Many (of Mayne’s word sonnets) pack a wallop the way aphorisms do. One can enjoy reading and re-reading these, even memorizing some, for they speak to the heart.”
“A maximal poetry of minimal means” […] In their one-word verticality I’ve found a strong resemblance too to the look & feel of Chinese poetry that led Ernest Fenellosa to see in the immediacy of the Chinese graphic/visual ideogram (set one per line) “a splendid flash of concrete poetry.”