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Thursday, February 06, 2020

Real beginning of new series of 'liberties' taken with Wordsworth's sonnets (temporary post of The English Strain' series)

My ‘English Strain’ project squeezes on. There are two posts about the background to it: one that looks back at Book One, The English Strain here and another at Book Two, Bad Idea here .The final part of Bad Idea is called ‘Idea’s Mirror’, which is described, along with some of the prospective poetics plans I had before the general election in December 2019, here: https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2019/12/my-last-ideas-mirror-post-election-poem.html
'The National Thrust' by Patricia Farrell

The third book may be entitled British Standards. It is planned to present versions (or transpositions) of sonnets of the Romantic period (between those of Charlotte Smith, which I’ve already worked on here, https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2019/07/more-english-strain-poems-overdubs-of.html

 and those of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, that I’ve also worked on, both in the final parts of Book One. https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2019/02/robert-sheppard-four-sonnets-from-non.html
 I’m thinking of poems to be ‘transposed’ as ‘Standards’ in two senses: I am listening to Anthony Braxton’s ‘Standards’ albums, where he plays those communally malleable tunes dubbed ‘standards’ by jazz musicians, but I’m also thinking of the ‘standards’ that British locks and other devices conform to, which seem, incidentally, to have survived the supposed uniformity of EU Regulations, and which Bo and others will doubtless champion. 


I am using poems in a section of Wordsworth’s 'Poems Dedicated to National Independence and Liberty', retitled ‘Poems of National Independence and Liberty’, and subtitled ‘liberties with Wordsworth’. Each will carry the first line as a title, for identification. The poems are easy to find (I am still finalizing my selection of 14 of them; Wordsworth wrote over 500 sonnets; I’ve read about 100 of them in the last couple of weeks).

The most recent poem is HERE 




You can access six poems from Bad Idea here:


Another eight online poems from Bad Idea may be accessed from this post:

https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2019/12/robert-sheppard-two-more-poems-from-bad.html

Three sonnets from the last part of Bad Idea, ‘Idea’s Mirror’, may be accessed here:


In ‘Petrarch 3’, the opening part of Book One, the transpositions are achieved by having 14 versions of one translation from Petrarch. This first published part of Book One, ‘Petrarch 3’ is published under that title. Another part is published as Hap which ab(uses) the sonnets of Thomas Wyatt. Both pamphlets are still available. 


Look here and here for more on my Petrarch obsession/project, including how to purchase Petrarch 3 from Crater Press in its ‘fold out map’ edition.

Hap: Understudies of Thomas Wyatt’s Petrarch is available from Knives Forks and Spoons here:





Occasionally my method of composition is demonstrated in public. Here’s a poem by the Earl of Surrey with my transposition of it: http://internationaltimes.it/direct-rule-in-peace-with-foul-desire .