Sunday, January 31, 2010

Alphabetical Sonnet


Agnus Dei reliquary, arquebuses,
Awls and astrolabes, beads, bellows, buckles, breech-blocks,

Candle holders, collars, cords and crucifixes;

Dagger hilts and dishes; ewers, esmerils and flintlocks.

Gaiters, goatskins, goblets, gunner's rules and glasses;

Heddles, holsters; ingots, jug-spouts, keys; a lion mask;

Mallets, Ming, muskets; nails; an oriflamme of damask;

Pearls, pellets; querns, ramrods, rings, and silver tasses.

Spokes, shoes, shot, steelyards, shackles; two escudo pieces;

Toggles, tweezers, tambourines and taper-sticks;
Urns and ukeleles; vices, yokes, axes, adzes

Not to mention the admiral's medallion,

Nor the golden chalice, nor the Eucharistic pyx;

All these were found on board the foundered Spanish galleon.

From Ciaran Carson's Collected Poems, a doorstop of a book, thick and solid as a brick. First published in Ireland in 2008 and now in the U.S. by Wake Forest University Press.