2014 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award

Winner: “Caliban Is Not"
by Marty Steyer
Final Judge: R.S. Gwynn

Caliban is Not


1) the lumpenproletariat 2) slipshod
and swearing 3) able to attain escape
velocity 4) a cruddy, shoddy cod-
piece 5) a Neanderthal above the nape
6) a pig’s exquisitely sensitive nose
7) penned in forever 8) the roughest measure
of our carnal instincts 9) the meat that froze
10) a nocturnal grunt who sniffs out treasure.

He’s just a rube who’s fallen on hard times.
Like everyone, he’s working for a song.
Someday he’ll rent a cottage by the sea.
He’ll play his banjo there in harmony
(With what? With all that happens all day long.)
and hum while lovers jangle windblown chimes.


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