A sonnet's rigor tames the rowdy mind;
iambic paths commit the thought to word
with constant progress far less apt to wind
and thus ensure the mind is better heard.
With arrow straightness poets here proceed
nor sideways drift, though they have wont to roam
to other pastures by capricious deed
as forward poets never feel at home.
Cauterize this wound, break this cold chain of meter,
Deviate with dactyls and never count the strong beats.
I scorn Shakespeare, exploring unblank verses
but turn and gaze with terror at unnavigable freedom.
Dismayed, I find I'd rather be restrained
so I may know my verse, though it is pained.