by Joe Shea
December 29, 2009
A SONNET FOR THE NEW YEAR
BRADENTON, Fla. -- I wrote this poem, which is flawed as a sonnet (as were some of Shakespeare's), at a deli and coffee shop in Santa Monica, Calif., on New Year's Eve 1982. The deli is gone now, and the poem, too, has changed in several ways over the years - a word here, and years later, a word there - and I probably never read it the same way twice. Worst of all, a phrase is missing from the recorded version. I'm not sure how that happened. The version below is more or less complete.
For those of you unfamiliar with old-fashioned American customs, it was common in centuries past to tear out pages, or leaves, of the old calendar and burn them in the fireplace. The rest you'll have to figure out for yourself.
Thanks for reading - and listening!
Postscript: That's our family home in the picture. We have been there 100 years this year. It just seemed so appropriate to the season!