2007 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award

Winner: “No"
by A. M. Juster
Final Judge: Frederick Turner

No

No, not this time.  I cannot celebrate
a man’s discarded life, and will not try;
these knee-jerk elegies perpetuate
the nightshade lies of Plath.  Why glorify
descent into a solipsistic hell?
Stop.  Softly curse the waste.  Don’t elevate
his suffering to genius.  Never tell
me he will live on.  Never call it fate.

Attend the service.  Mourn.  Pray.  Comfort those
he lacerated.  Keep him in your heart,
but use that grief to teach.  When you compose
a line, it is a message, not just art.
Be furious with me, but I refuse
to praise him.  No, we have too much to lose.

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