Dr. Brian Trimboli Composes Sonnet Crowns

Dr. Brian Trimboli, currently a lecturer-in-writing at Yeshiva College, spent the summer working on a manuscript of “sonnet crowns.” This is a poetic form where a sequence of sonnets are linked together structurally by having the final line of the first sonnet be the first line of the second sonnet, the last line of the second sonnet be the first line of the third sonnet, and so on. The sequence ends with having the first line of the first sonnet become the final line of the final sonnet, bringing the sequence to a close.

(For those readers who don’t quite remember what a sonnet is, catch up with a quick tutorial.)

“Working on this manuscript,” he explained, “afforded me an opportunity to use the manuscript space as an echo chamber for some of the experiences I’ve gone through in my life. The fact that the crowns repeat lines gives the reader a sort of phantom feeling—they know that something sounds familiar, but from where? and why?—which I think helps the reader to feel included and attentive and rewarded for their reading.

“It also gives me a highly controlled aspect to writing about experiences that were, for the most part, completely outside of my control. The poems allow me, and hopefully the reader, to process some of the more uncontrollable aspects of life and to regard that processing with rhythm and enjoyable sounds/language that makes the process of going through it somewhat dissonant, like listening to a beautifully sounding song that has harsh lyrics.

“I’m always trying to get the reader to engage more than once with the work, and that’s really hard when you’re dealing with difficult emotional issues. Doing this work has became a way for me to lead the reader into discovering the subject matter after they’ve enjoyed engaging with it.”

Read an example of his work published in the latest issue of PaperBag.