Exercise #19 (pages 291-292)

This exercise was to write Petrarchan (abba-abba-cdccdc) and Shakespearean (abab-cdcd-efef-gg) Sonnets on Electoral Apathy.

Petrarchan Sonnet
The folks who love election day are few
They’ve little time to waste on candidates
And even less for all the running mates.
They’ve stuff to see and better things to do.
The TV shows that trap their eyes like glue
Are not the lengthy policy debates.
They’d rather whine and moan about “ingrates,”
Than research on and vote for someone new.
And yet, I am too hard (perhaps) on all
Who do not hear the ballot’s siren song,
Who view each promise made as just a tall
Tale – their hopes have lesser length to fall.
They care less when the leaders’ plans go wrong;
The dirty lies don’t fill their souls with gall.

Shakespearean Sonnet
They’d rather watch reality TV
And mindlessly invoke the party line,
Than learn about each candidate’s policies.
Their “research” is to read the roadside signs.
The responsibility they hold is great –
A right for which historic heroes died.
And yet, they’d rather leave to others their fate
Than give a hand and our great nation guide.
It pains me to admit I’m not above
This accusation, I too am apathetic
Too cynical to trust the promises of
The candidates, my choices are aesthetic.
And yet, perhaps, we’re wise to hate the game
Since every politician lies the same.


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