Make your own free website on
Sonnetto Poesia Vol 3 no 2 2004
Eric Linden
Audrey Manning
Helga Ross
Larry Tilander
Richard Vallance
Sara Russell
Esther Cameron & Jim Dunlap
Recommended Reading
Richard Vallance








Did You Hear the Loons? Do You?


You love canoeing. You've heard wolves before.
Or you'll hear loons freak, and alert their lakes
to light winged storms that swell your campsite's shore,
then mumble off in woods thin moonlight breaks.


We've heard them, both. Their cries are wild, as wild
as any native's cries. How well did you hear?
Strange as it seems, the wolf is woodland's child,
the great loon icon in Manitou's ear.


We stare in silence as loons, three, veer near
our island's campsite, to coast on through,
leaving you tranquil again, and coast clear.

"They are a family". They've dawned on you.


Ten years have come and gone, and nothing's changed.
The wolves still haunt their woods, the loons their bays
insinuating Nature's not deranged,
too long unconscious of our half-assed ways!


Ten years have come and gone. The CBC *
reports, "Some oil spill recontaminates
our shores, and loons die, washed up from the sea,
by scores, some rogue steamer's slick suffocates.


They try and save 1, scrub him down. I cringe.
That loon, all suds, beats his wings, wails in pitch.
Are we drunk on some Earth-destroying binge?
The poor loon sobs! I swear! "Son of a Bitch!"

© by Richard Vallance 2004

March 6 2004


* Every single word of this quatrain is based on fact. Just last evening, the 10 O'Clock News on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), reported that yet another foreign rogue container ship had deliberately dumped a vast oil slick off of Newfoundland's shores. Hundreds of seabirds, including scores and scores of loons, Common Loon and Arctic Loons alike, were gruesomely mired in oil, and the vast majority of them suffocated to death. As I watched the news report, I watched and saw the poor, helpless volunteers desperately trying to save the life of one Arctic Loon still struggling to breathe through the oily mess miring his feathers with guck. They had him pinned down in a large bucket of warm water full of suds, and one of the volunteers had to hold his very sharp beak closed, so the frantic bird would not bite any of the folks trying to save him in his terror. That loon was not merely howling. He was not merely wailing. He wasn't even just crying. He was SOBBING! It just broke my heart.

Is there no end to the boundless stupidity and heartlessness of humankind? Just exactly what kind of creatures ARE we? If we don't clean up our act soon, and once and for all time, for good, and learn to live in harmony with this Earth and all her living creatures, flora and fauna alike, who support us, I am afraid, as the old saying goes, "our goose is cooked."

Richard Vallance

William Shakespeare. Sonnet 53 = le sonnet 53

Le sonnet 53
de William Shakespeare

translitération en français

(suivant le style de Pierre de Ronsard)

Laquelle serait l'essentielle à te définir,
Des ténèbres innombrables qui te poursuivent ? 
Parmi ces pénombres qui veulent se réunir
À toi, à qui la mine la plus inexpressive ?
Décrire Adonis, et son image dans la glace
Paraît te contrefaire si bien qu'il t'affaiblit;
Les arts savent-ils t'enjoliver, Hélène, de grâce,
Si bien que la frise hellénique t'embellit ?
L'on voit au beau printemps s'épanouir l'année,
Dont la foison est trop exquise à sa façon,
Mais elle a moins d'abondance que ta Beauté;
Te voilà donc bénie et reconnue partout.
    Qu'elle soit prévisible, la grâce t'appartient,
    La voilà, constance imprévisible, ton bien.

© par Richard Vallance 2004

le 15 février 2004

J'ai toujours voulu traduire ce sonnet exquis, qui me ravit encore plus que tout autre sonnet de William Shakespeare, mais j'hésite longtemps, voire depuis plusieurs années à me dévouer à une tâche littéraire d'une telle envergure, car je n'ai jamais voulu y échouer.  Mais enfin ce soir il m'est venu l'inspiration profonde que je n'ai jamais su cultiver auparavant.  C'est tout un phénomène inexplicable, voire quasi miraculeux, mais voilà que c'est fait !   La créativité poétique est certes l'un des plus grands mystères de la vie, mais je n'y regimbe pas.
A facsimile of Shakespeare's original Sonnet 53 from the 1609 Quarto Edition of his sonnets appears below (special effects by Richard Vallance).



I have always been dying to translate this exquisite sonnet, which has forever delighted me more than any other sonnet of William Shakespeare, but I have been more than a little hesitant for years now to thrust upon myself a literary task of such magnitude as this, seeing as I did not wish to fail. But this evening, at long last, some deep inspiration which had always eluded me before, overcame me. All this is of course quite unexplainable, but any phenomenon such as this always is. Anyway, there you have it.   Poetic creativity is one of the greatest mysteries of life, and who am I to fuss over it?  This sonnet is found on my poetry site, here:

Poesie's laissez-faire Faire Foire: William Shakespeare

Sara Russell
Larry Tilander