Poem of the Week | September 30, 2019

This week’s Poem of the Week is “Circular Sonnet” by Alejandro Pérez!

Alejandro Pérez is a student at Columbia University in New York. He is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee whose poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boulevard, Pacifica Literary Review, DIAGRAM, Blue Earth Review, DIALOGIST, Typehouse Magazine, decomP, and Spanish-language magazines in Venezuela, Chile, and Spain.


Circular Sonnet

sunday’s the day for remembering/
death / an elegy/ and monday’s a
sonnet/ that never breaks pentameter/
too rigid for expression/ too oppressive
for enjoyment/ and tuesday’s just a
ghazal/ a repetition/ of monday/ and
wednesday’s probably an epithalamium/
a celebration / of what we’ve been through/
of what’s to come/ and thursday’s an
ode to the future/ to friday/ and friday’s
a sestina/ plagued by the need to impress/
and saturday’s free verse/ so free it’s
oppressive/ so free no one knows how to
start or conclude/ and sunday is an elegy


Author’s Note

This poem came together because I was thinking about Fridays and how going out on Friday or doing something fun on Friday is almost an obligation for most. I was thinking about how it’s a day when people feel like they have to do something impressive and how I really hate that about Fridays. That’s when it occurred to me that a Friday was like a sestina, and I started thinking that maybe every weekday could be similar to some poetic form. And so, I realized that maybe our lives are controlled by form and order and structure and conventions, and that in a sense, by writing this sonnet in an unconventional way, I was rebelling a little against form.