Sometimes a simple truth is sacrificed;
abandoned; let go, as surplus to need.
For utility’s sake it’s cut and spliced;
modified; stripped of its seminal seed.
Sometimes too, a simple truth is buried;
covered by layers of expedience,
overgrown, entombed in a myriad
of rows; for folioed convenience.
And sometimes simple truth is set aside.
It’s rendered small enough to ridicule;
belittled; nothingness personified;
significance reduced to minuscule.
. When by design – we’re too clever by half,
. who is it … who is it, has the last laugh?
© Tim Grace, (WS-Sonnet 66: line 11) 4 May 2011
To the reader: Simple solutions are too often over-looked; dismissed as trite. The ‘tried and true’ remedy outlives its novelty; so, shiny becomes dull and none-too attractive. Human nature thrives on surprise and quickly habituates to ‘sameness’; we look to see things differently. Unfortunately, simple routines, as efficient as they are, become mundane and tiresome. And so, in an attempt to add a little sparkle to our tasks we inadvertently make things difficult … too clever by half.
To the poet: Revisiting a sonnet, years after it was first finished, is sometimes an exercise in restraint. There’s always the temptation to fiddle; nudge a couple of words; alter the length of a line; or swap one word for another. As a poem’s substance is mostly well-set, it’s then readability that gets the work-over. The rule of restraint relates to originality; don’t distance the sonnet too far from its time-bound source.