Monday, May 2, 2016

William Baer

William Baer is a poet of the new formalism, who has authored five collections of poetry. He received the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize for his book The Unfortunates (1997), and is the founding editor of The Formalist. His poetic form of choice is the sonnet, which can be seen from his own writing, and from his translation of seventy sonnets from the Portuguese for his book, Luís de Camões: Selected Sonnets (Chicago, 2005).

He is Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at University of Evansville in Indiana, has had his plays produced in New York City and elsewhere, and has written the text Writing Metrical Poetry.

The following sonnet is from Psalter (2011).

Love (I Corinthians 13:13)

If I have not love, I’m but a hollow sound,
a tinkling cymbal destined to fade and fall,
and though my faith might move the mountains around,
still, without love, I’m nothing at all.
For love is patient, love is kind,
it’s never vain, ambitious, or uncouth,
it’s never coarse, it’s soft, refined,
for love rejoices in the truth.
Love thinks no evil, it thinks no wrong,
it hopes, believes, endures, prevails,
love envieth not, it suffereth long,
it never turns, it never fails.
Have love, have faith, have hope, again and again,
but love is the greatest of these. Amen.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.