“Sonnet Insurance”—a billboard in Toronto
Dear Sonnet staff: I’m eager for your plan!
I’ll want an underwriter old-school-based,
Petrarchan or P. Larkin in his taste—
he’ll speak my terms. I’ll benefit from your man
adjusting rhymes, making meter strict,
assuming the risk of an errant anapest.
Or does your firm ensure I’ll stand time’s test,
pull strings to have my every effort picked
by a premier publication? One quick draft
in the condition of a pre-existing sonnet,
and the English-speaking world would dote upon it.
But I admit my first attempts aren’t craft.
If instant fame’s your game, please shelve this letter.
Insure me later, when I write it better.