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I have to write a sonnet for this class.

To bEst the foRm, compOse oNe of yoUr owN.

But to my prof I say, thou art an ass.

Give us a break! Come on! Throw us a bone!

You want us to conform to Shakespeare’s rhymes?

His iambic pentameter as well?

As if we students do this all the time?

What are you, nuts? What is this? What the hell!

Then you say you’ll critique it, making notes

I’m s’posed to read, and use them to revise it?

And you’ll be grading on—(what rhymes with notes?!)

This paper sucks. No really, I despise it.

Aren’t we all here to learn academese?

Assign a ten-page paper instead—please!


Jay Parr (he/they) lives with his partner and child in Greensboro, NC, where he teaches Shakespeare and stuff like Banned Books in UNCG's nontraditional humanities program. His work has been carried by Dead Skunk Magazine, Discretionary Love, Anti-Heroin Chic, Streetcake Magazine, Variant Literature Journal, and others.

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