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Poetry in the Time of Drought
by Katy Brown

It's been a bad year to grow sonnets–
even the hothouse stanzas can't force rhyme;
and villanelles languish, all watery and pale.

Tercets won't blossom into haiku;
quatrains careen in uneven rows;
sonnets lack form and inspiration–

couplets deny heroism;
limericks aren't funny;
leggy villanelles stagger around, themeless.

Even free verse seems incarcerated.
All varieties suffer in this garden of verse.
It's been an especially hard year for sonnets.

We've sprayed for clichés, pruned the commas,
carefully dug-out all the adverbs;
but even unrhymed villanelles lack taste.

Poets rhapsodize about the weather,
ignoring how quickly it can change.
It's been a horrid year for sonnets
and villanelles grow spiteful and deranged.

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