VI.Sonnet.Poem.Barbara Crooker




One word, and then another, falls in line

like geese wedging their way down the sky,

a vast scroll of paper yet unwritten. I

Roll a sheet in the typewriter, and begin

again, to try and pin down what’s elusive,

some insistent bird that whistles from a bush,

Here, here, here I am,” then vanishes,

while I am left to struggle with the narrative.

Like “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window”,

I wish the light would flood in from the left,

paint me slickly gold, tell me what comes next.

But I am in the dark, no map, no text,

just following my heart as night falls soft,

covers us with her obsidian wing.


VI” by Barbara Crooker. “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window”. The reference is to the painting of the same title by Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). See also “Still Life”, by Annie Finch.


Barbara Crooker’s sonnets have appeared in magazines such as The Schuylkill Valley Journal, riverrun, Poets On: and Fringe. Largely a free verse writer, she believes that sonnets are another tool in the writer’s paintbox. Her work has been widely anthologized, in places like Poetry: an Introduction (Bedford/St. Martin’s) and Good Poems for Hard Times (Garrison Keillor, editor,Viking Penguin). Her book, Radiance, was winner of the 2005 Word Press First Book Award, and Line Dance (Word Press, 2008), won the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. Her forthcoming book Gold. Barbara Crooker appears (2013 or 2014) in the Poeima Poetry Series of Cascade Books, a division of Wipf & Stock. Website:


This sonnet is pre-published with the permission of the Editor-in-chief from:Richard Vallance, editor-in-chief. The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium = Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendres : Anthologie de sonnets au début du troisième millénaire. Friesen Presse, Victoria, B.C., Canada. © 2013. approx. 240 pp. ISBN Hardcover: 978-1-4602-1700-9 Price: $28.00 Paperback: 978-1-4602-1701-6 Price: $18.00 e-Book: 978-1-4602-1702-3 Price: TBA


300 sonnets & ghazals in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese & Persian. Selected sonnets are pre-published by our permission in Poetry Life & Times (UK) which has exclusive sole rights prior to the publication of the anthology itself. Readers may also contact Richard Vallance, Editor-in-Chief, at: for further information.



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