(after Dorothy Parker)
I offer you my effort to create
a simple sonnet worthy of a word
of criticism, question, or debate
with no assumption flattery’s preferred.
For if you judge it awkwardly enjambed,
pedestrian, unbearably clichéd
unwitty or ho-hummingly iambed,
you’ll never witness my composure fade.
And though you tell me I have not employed
the most appealing diction in my quest,
then I will not be in the least annoyed —
I’ll gladly pay the penalty assessed.
But critic, if you say my stanzas fail
to scan, I’ll come out fighting tooth and nail!