“Butterfly Bones, or Sonnet Against Sonnets” by Margaret Avison

The cyanide jar seals life, as sonnets move
towards final stiffness. Cased in a white glare
these specimens stare for peering boys, to prove
strange certainties. Plane dogsled and safari
assure continuing range. The sweep-net skill,
the patience, learning, leave all living stranger.
Insect — or poem — waits for the fix, the frill
precision can effect, brilliant with danger.
What law and wonder the museum spectres
bespeak is cryptic for the shivery wings,
the world cut-diamond-eyed, those eyes’ reflectors,
or herbal grass, sunned motes, fierce listening.
Might sheened and rigid trophies strike men blind
like Adam’s lexicon locked in the mind?

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5 Responses to “Butterfly Bones, or Sonnet Against Sonnets” by Margaret Avison

  1. May get “yelled at” for this, but … poems like this give poetry a bad name?

  2. jyourist says:

    @Michael—You’re a tough critic, but judiciously so.

  3. But then again, she is a published poet …

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