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Over the years, I've gotten to know some wonderful poets here in southern New Jersey. There are many of them - in fact, it's somewhat shocking how many and how good they are. One of the best poets of my acquaintance is Bruce Niedt, whose poem, "Sultry", I have featured in the past.

Bruce released a new chapbook with Maverick Duck Press in 2012. Entitled Twenty-four by Fourteen, it is a collection of sonnets and sonnet-like poems (14-line poems that kinda wanted to be sonnets, but maybe didn't quite fit the precise form). The cover of the chapbook (unfolded) is pictured to the right. Designed by Bruce's son, it is fourteen lines of twenty-four colorful dots, with the title cleverly embedded.

I asked Bruce for permission to share one of his sonnets here, and he graciously agreed. Today, I'm sharing one of my favorites in his collection, "January Aubade". An aubade is a form of love poem about lovers separating at dawn. One of the best-known aubades is "The Sun Rising", by John Donne, but I digress.

Here, without further delay, is Bruce's lovely poem for his wife:

January Aubade
by Bruce W. Niedt

The lifting gray is just a trick of light,
my love. It's really not so close to dawn.
It's all the flurries in the air tonight
that settle in a blanket on the lawn.
The trashmen's racket? They're on early shift,
the paper guy, too, slaps your step ahead
of time. We woke too early -- that's a gift
for us -- let's re-create last night in bed.
Don't rise to check the time! All right, it's six
o'clock -- I lied. I only wished to squeeze
another hour from our tryst; my tricks
were just to keep you home a while. So please
consider us, enquilted, nude and warm.
With snow outside, we'll make a private storm.

Quick discussion of form: It's a Shakespearean sonnet, rhymed ABABCDCDEFEFGG, and written using iambic pentameter (5 iambic feet per line, ta-DUM ta-DUM ta-DUM ta-DUM ta-DUM). Bruce is a master at using enjambment here, which means that the natural breaks in the lines are not always at the end of a printed line. For instance, when reading aloud, one would start as follows:

"The lifting gray is just a trick of light, my love.
It's really not so close to dawn."

I love Bruce's use of "enquilted" in the penultimate line, as well as the sexiness of this poem, mixed, as it is, with the practicalities of daily life.

If you are interested in purchasing Bruce's chapbook, Twenty-four by Fourteen, you may do so for a mere $7.00 at Maverick Duck Press. If you are interested in reading more of his work, you may do so at Bruce's blog, where he is posting his daily product during the month of April. You won't regret either choice.


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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
boreal_owl
Apr. 4th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
I <3 this!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 4th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you love it too!
soulfully
Apr. 4th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
Ooh that's lovely. Thank you for sharing it with us!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 4th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
You are most welcome! Bruce's work is brilliant.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 5th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)
Thank you, Kelly! I'm honored to be featured today.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 5th, 2013 05:03 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU, Bruce, for your lovely poem and the permission to use it!

Edited at 2013-04-05 05:03 pm (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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