Catherine Vidler’s Lost Sonnets is a book of stunning verbivocovisual imagination. In this, the complete series of 155 poems, she takes the famous 14 lines as starting point for an evolving experiment with the sonnet as form. Starting with the rawness of arrows pointing in the usual reading direction, and gradually adding elements and increasing complexity, she arrives at visual sonnets as beautiful and rich as anything the form has produced during its long history.
By publishing the whole series, Timglaset wants to highlight the importance of the process itself. Those early sonnets may be simpler but are nevertheless fully formed poems, not drafts or sketches.
Says Tom Jenks: Vidler’s beautifully oblique, diagrammatic pieces remind
us that poetry has always been a numbers game. Lost Sonnets is like walking
through a forest of winter trees on a clear, moonless night. Up above
there are no clouds, only comets and constellations.
And Derek Beaulieu: Lost Sonnets confidently places Vidler’s writing next
to Shakespearean, Petrarchan and Spenserian forms; here metrics and
rhyme look beyond language into a visual form ranging across the map of
potentiality. Soon we will all be writing Vidlerian sonnets.
Catherine Vidler lives in Sydney, Australia. Her recent publications include composite lost sonnets (SOd press, 2018), lost sonnets (Spacecraft Press, 2018), table sets (no press, 2017), lake labyl and table set poems (Penteract Press, 2017), table set poems (Spacecraft Press, 2017), lake labyl and chaingrass errata slips (SOd press, 2017), and chaingrass (zimZalla Object 039, 2016). The first series of her composite lost sonnets 78 composite lost sonnets is forthcoming in October 2018 from Hesterglock Prote(s)xt.
Catherine Vidler, Lost Sonnets, 168 pages, full colour digital print, 15 X 15 cm, wire-o binding, with comments by the author. 50 copies were made. 22 Eur + shipping. Comes with a free mini-accordion, Selected Stars, an hommage to Catherine Vidler’s Twitter account, The Asterisk Machine (@usefulstars).
Engaged by Eileen Tabios on Galatea Resurrects.
Review by Tom Jenks in Litter Magazine.