Hard Sonnet in a Hard Time

Donald M. Hassler

Chateaubriand, Memoires d’outre-tombe (1849-50)

A tiny monster haunts our ancient ways.

My sons are grown, but puppies walk the block

To keep me company. The media shock

Conspires to foster fear that clearly plays

Continually across the tedious days

To undermine our health as well. Talk

In monkish isolation fails to stalk

The beast so finally our hope betrays.

But perhaps if we can use the time to climb

The peaks of loneliness the view will clear

And style can yield a little fruit. Chateaubriand

Did a fine Testamentary Preface where

In fact, he sadly said he must be gone

For any emphasis he sought to be sublime.

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