Stepping Out to Bompas*


"A Euro! The bus conductor offers us a gift,
"One Euro", no matter how far you go! Even to the moon!
First Collioure, then Céret, villages of the famous, itinerant Artists.
Europe! Home of the TGV Express and ubiquitous Windmills.
Do you remember the old, timeworn windmills, full of wind and fire!
Here's the TGV of the Roman Legions, the VIA DOMITIA which
Reduced the Celtish Gauls to skulls and skeletons, buried underfoot.

There's Saint-Victoire, the Mount of sorrows and their sufferings.
Finally, we return, stepping back to Bompas,
To our hospitable retreat, to be welcomed by Voyou,
The little, black cat, our tiny concierge, hiding in the shadows of the Laurels.
He raises up a feline glance and winks his pointed ears
To the slowing sound of the car, to see at the sliding of the gate.
Beneath the trees, our Citroën parking, under the limes.

*Bompas village is near Perpignan, in the South of France,
North of the Pyrenees.

Le Sonnet d'Hiver, 2009


Un Bon Pas à Bompas*


"Un euro!" A Perpignan le conducteur du bus nous a fait un cadeau!
"Un euro, n'importe quelle distance, même la Cata-luna en phase!"
Voici Collioure, voilà Céret, villages-phares des Artistes itinérants.
L'Europe! Les TGV Express et partout les Eoliennes légères!
Souvenez-vous des éoliennes anciennes, en plein vent, dressées fièrement!
C'est la VIA DOMITIA, où les légions romaines, à très grande vitesse,
Ont réduit Celtes et Gaulois à des têtes et squelettes ici ensevelis.

Voilà la Sainte-Victoire, le Mont douloureux de leurs souffrances!
Enfin, le retour, d'un bon pas à Bompas!
Et dans notre géniale retraite, nous accueille Voyou.
Le chat noir, petit concierge, caché à l'ombre des Lauriers,
Nous lance un clin d'oeil félin, oreilles pointées dans le vent
Au bruit de la voiture qui ralentit, devant le portail coulissant.
Sous le Citronnier, une Citroën, parmi les citrons.

*Bompas, un village, près de Perpignan, au sud de la France,
versant nord des Pyrénées.

The Winter Sonnet, 2008


Wee Josie fell, as well.


An' here tae tell, the autumn Fa',
Sleuchs oot like an elegantine Alpaca.
Noo, brazen winter gingers in,
Wi' the saft, padded paw o' a kitten.
"We cannae a' be cauld, this year!"
Wee Josie kens whit it is tae thole.
"Youse yins better haud yir wheesht!"
A crabbit, sneddy winter's soon tae blaw.
On ilka gless, it maks its dowy maw
In siller, glintin, whiskers o'er a'.
Noo, Josie snaffles up the snarly cat.
He rins an' tumelts doon sae sairly.
His claes are pu'd, his heid is dintit.
Wee Josie's bonny knees are skintit.
Winter's catatonic, intit?


 The Winter Sonnet (English translation), 2008

Wee Josie fell, as well

The russ-red, autumn fall

Slips out, like an elegantine alpaca.

Now, brazen  Winter  muscles in,

With the soft, padded paw of a kitten.

“We cannot all be cold, this year!”

“You all better just keep quiet!”

A surly, blizzard winter’s soon to blow.

On every pane, it’ll mask its dewy hand,

In glistening, silver whiskers overall.

Now, Josie snatches up the snarling cat.

He runs and tumbles down, oh, so sorely.

His clothes are pulled, his head is dunted.

Wee Josie’s bony knees are skinted

Winter’s catatonic, isn’t it?


12. The Poetics, Sonnets

and “So-Nots”

Joe Thomson, Artist, 03.29.2013, P1 of 2


The beauty and succinct compactness of the traditional sonnet form has served to express the most lucid sentiments and ideas since its introduction into the Italian canon of poetical verse early in the Thirteenth century.

Its rapid export to all corners of the European literate world became a favorite mode of romantic expression by Shakespeare himself, encouraged by his cousin, in later Elizabethan times, in the 1590s.


One of the most august examples of the sonnet form is the famous sonnet “On his Blindness” by John Milton which was taught in my school. His exhortation to all those afflicted in the human race by handicap and pain is the hallowed resignation at the ending of the sonnet: “They also serve, who only stand and wait”. This is a dignity to ponder.


John Milton’s own agony in losing his sight, as a writer, reveals how his own suffering extracted a noble, caring, and redeeming humanity from his 3 daughters, who ministered diligently to him in his affliction till the end of his life and later, in the securing of his artistic legacy.

The poetic principle of “big ART” is to advance thepractice and the art of the Sonnet by inventing and adding further characteristic attributes and devices to the newly re-named “So-Not” form in order to reflect a more modern, inventive, stanzaic freedom so that it can perform a poetic, expressive service to the literary arts of the 21st century.


The first of two examples of the new “So-Nots” placed for view in this Photo Gallery web is a French language “So-Not” entitled, “Un Bon Pas à Bompas”, written during a visit with my wife to 2 Teacher friends in Perpignan, South of France, in 2009, and accompanied by its English/American transliteration and Quick Response QR codes for easier reference.


The second of the two examples of the new “So-Nots” also placed for view in the Photo Gallery is a Scots dialect “So-Not” entitled, “Wee Josie fell, as well” written during a visit with my wife to Scotland to visit a friend in 2008, also accompanied by its English/American transliteration and Quick response QR codes for easier reference.





“big Art”

12. The Poetics, Sonnets

and “So-Nots”

Joe Thomson, Artist, 03.29.2013, P2 of 2


Some of the new literary devices that have been adopted in these two “So-Not” examples are the following:

1.       There is no artificial rhyming of end words in the accepted Sonnet form.

2.       Instead there is a great creative reliance on multiple rhyming internally within lines.

3.       The stanzaic imperative on alternating couplets, triplets etc. are considered forced.

4.       Instead the multi-tonal qualities of assonance and contrapuntal line leaping are indulged.

5.       The fourteen line Sonnet form is made a sly increase of fifteen lines in one of the “So-Nots”.

6.       The transliterations of un-equivalences of foreign and dialect words are also in evidence.

7.       The liberation of poetic expression to allow multiple word assonance as in:


“Sous le Citronnier, une Citroën, parmi les citrons”

The open, free expression in the new, poetic  “So-Nots” , provisionally so-called, confers greater internal flexibility to the exercise of any language, allowing the adoption of versification to play to its inherent strengths, as shown in evidence of the Scots dialect poem “Wee Josie fell, as well:

                 “Wee Josie’s bony knees are skintit.

                  Winter’s catatonic, intit?”

8.       And finally, the coinage of new words like “sleuch”, “elegantine” and “sneddy” to name a few.


The insertion of humor into the “So-Not” form, and its playful, inflected freedom to avail itself of every imaginative device and attribute known to the poetic form, informed by a true humanity and sense of self, is the genuine “So-Not’s” release from its captivity as a Sonnet stricture.


Joe Thomson, Artist, wishes to attract the most attentive, word-play satisfaction with the literary detection of these free-ranging devices and attributes hidden in the modern “So-Not” form.