Nap With Chapbook

by Quinn White

I’m in bed with apples
that aren’t apples,
but mountains up
which creatures scatter.
Their muzzles catch amnesia
like a Frisbee. The man
who fed snakes kittens,
tossed—while poems
or is it sheep or winged
dogs land, finding parrots
reading palms, a violin
taking questions, but not mine,
no matter how I raise
and wave my hands.

Quinn White is a MFA poetry candidate at Virginia Tech. Her poems have appeared in, or are forthcoming from Hot Metal Bridge; A Clean, Well-Lighted Place; The Straddler; The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review; and Bayou Magazine.

In your cover letter, you referred to “Nap With Chapbook” as a “compressed sonnet.” Can you talk a bit about that idea of a compressed sonnet—what it is, how it differs from an un-compressed sonnet, and the challenges it presented to you as you wrote this wonderful piece?

    A compressed sonnet is a poem whose fourteen lines are each composed of less than eight syllables. Compression gives a fresh charge to the sonnet while managing to juggle the question, turn, and answer aspects required of traditional forms such as Shakespearean and Petrarchan. “Nap With Chapbook” presented me with few challenges because as I wrote and revised it, the poem assumed its current form. Also helpful is the fact that naps and chapbooks are themselves compressed experiences.

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