Learning About Sonnets


Sitting in the upper last row of Wyatt Hall, Matt stretched his long legs under the fold-up desk top. He looked down past  his fellow students’ heads to barely catch something Dr. Mock had said about verisimilitude, whatever the hell that was. Something to do with a Billy Collins poem he hadn’t read, though part of this week’s assigned readings. A female student eight seats over on his left and down six rows had read Collins’ “Sonnet” aloud to the class while Matt was sipping his Starbucks. Her name was Laura-something, he thought. She was standing, turned slightly toward him, while still carrying on about the poem with the professor and a couple of other literature types in the front row. Not for the first time however he noticed how hot Laura was.


Tallish, a torrent of straight, light brown hair with blonde highlights flowing halfway down her back and over one shoulder. She is really hot he thought. I think I’m gonna be in love. Prof. Mock droned on about how the Collins poem has an allusion to someone named Petrarch and how the poem plays on sonnet love conventions. Matt neither understood nor cared much for poetry. Still, he decided, when class met again Wednesday he was moving down from row fourteen to see if he could score a spot next to this hottie Laura. He would read some of the assignment before Wednesday too so he could start an offhand conversation with her, saying how much he learned about sonnets from listening to her talking in class today.


Ed Higgins poems and short fiction have appeared in Commonweal, Monkeybicycle, Otoliths, Duck & Herring Co.’s Pocket Field Guide, Pindeldyboz, and Bellowing Ark, as well as the online journals CrossConnect, Word Riot, The Hiss Quarterly, Blue Print Review, Tattoo Highway, and The Centrifugal Eye, among others. He and his wife live on a small farm in Yamhill with a menagerie of animals including an emu named To & Fro and a barn cat named Velcro. Ed teaches creative writing and literature at George Fox University, south of Portland, OR.