The edge, roughly cut and jagged;
torn apart and broken;
crudely split and ragged:
‘a scratch’ if plainly spoken.
The rim, rounded-off and even;
comfortable to grip;
shaped to give good reason
to the curvature of lip.
On the edge, where fibres fray,
the straight grain is splintered.
On the rim, where fingers play,
the subtle move is hinted.
. Smooth the edge to a bevelled rim;
. and be content with its levelled brim.
© Tim Grace, 31 December 2010
To the reader: The tactile sense, haptic in nature, is pleasured by the touch of a smooth and rounded edge. The sculptor, the chef, the luthier and the lover all recognise the appeal of a softly chamfered edge. A deliberately honed finish invites the caress of a curious finger-tip. The delicate rim of a china cup whets the lip. The family of stringed instruments nestle into the human form; they are eager to be strummed or stroked by a skilled and attentive hand.
To the poet: The reading of a sonnet is a tricky thing. The performance of a sonnet exposes the inner tension between literal meaning and lyrical reading. Obviously, the poem’s metre is critical to simplifying the reader’s task, but too strong a metre runs the risk of delivering a ditty. An oddly placed pause, a quirky phrase are complicated but necessary if a poem is going to attract sophisticated interest. Sonnets are not written for the speed reader; not to be scanned or read once.