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MARK JARMAN UNHOLY SONNET: AFTER THE PRAYING
After the praying, after the humn-singing,
After the sermon’s trenchant commentary
On the world’s ills, which make our secondary,
After communion, after the hand-wringing,
And after peace descends upon us, bringing
Our eyes up to regard the sanctuary
And how the light swords through it, and how, scary
In their sheer numbers, motes of dust ride, clinging—
There is, as doctors say about some pain,
Discomfort knowing that despite your prayers,
Your listening and rejoicing, your small part
In this communal stab at coming clean,
There is one stubborn remnant of your cares
Intact. There is still murder in your heart.
- Jaman wrote this sonnet in Petrachan form, Recall that, in Petrarchan form, the last six lines form the “resolution.”Is this is an appropriate theme for the sonnet?
- What rime schemes does this sonnet have? At what point does the scheme change? (Think about the sonnet’s theme(s) and what the author/speaker is expressing or emphasizing in the sonnet at certain points.)
- What elements of tone can be found in this sonnet (ironic, dramatic, humorous, sarcastic, etc.)? Explain.
- Contribute any other thoughts you might you might have about this sonnet.
(Use specific examples from the poem to support your discussion)
Write 250 words.