What kind of person decides to write a sonnet every day for a year? In Libby Weber's case, it was someone with too little free time who nonetheless wanted to create something new every day. The result of her year-long literary experiment is a verse memoir full of scintillating wordplay and keen observations, ranging from delightful nonsense to reflections on nature, death, love, and occasionally television. Sonnets remain a popular way to express powerful feelings and reflect on the world, even as they are also used to humorously elevate less rarefied subjects. Weber manages to do all of this, many times over, within the space of fourteen lines. Rarely has such an impressive feat been this much fun.
Plot: Sonnets remain a popular way to express powerful feelings and reflect on the world and can also humorously elevate less refined subjects. Weber manages to do all of this, many times over, within the space of 14 lines. Rarely has such an impressive feat been this much fun. Detailed annotations provide context for each sonnet, which makes this memoir-in-verse an accessible, unique, and engaging read.
Prose: The poet's playful style lends freshness to each of her sonnets. Her insistence on using proper grammar and punctuation—even in sonnets meant to perplex—is appreciated.
Originality: The wide array of topics covered—classical music, current events, the mechanics of grammar, a pet's inner monologue, etc.—challenges conceptions of what a sonnet is and should be. At the same time, the poet’s liberal references to contemporary culture make this collection accessible.
Character Development: The collection's introduction reveals a lot about the poet's process and approach to her project. Moreover, the notes accompanying each title and the poet’s quirky way of explaining references offer further insight into her character.
Date Submitted: June 26, 2018
"An ambitious poetry collection that will defy readers’ preconceptions of what a sonnet can be."