I'm going to reveal to you a secret
in a sonnet, Inez, lovely enemy;
but however well I set up this one,
in the first of the quatrains it can't be.
Now that we're in the second, I do promise
that it won't end before the secret's said;
but I'll be, my Inez, a monkey's uncle,
if of this sonnet eight lines haven't fled.
So see, Inez, how fate so harshly treats us;
for with the sonnet ready on my lips,
and having all its intricacies spun,
I've counted all the lines and now discover,
that, following the sonnet's normal count,
this sonnet, Inez, is already done.

Baltazar del Alcázar (1530 - 1606)
(©Alix Ingber, 1995)

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2012 Selected Poetry
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