Ricochet by Seymour Mayne

Ricochet by Seymour Mayne

Reviewed by Liam Ford Ricochet is a slim but impressive volume of word sonnets by the form’s pioneer, Seymour Mayne. A word sonnet is a fourteen line poem, where each line contains a single word: the process of reading becomes a meditation, an expansion. Its reader quickly grasps the similarity to haiku, where the beauty of the poem lies in simplicity and succinctness. But where a haiku creates a scene, universal and eternal, like cycles of life and death, or of the seasons, these word sonnets choose different themes and lack an inherent, comforting circularity. Furthermore, constricted by rigid formal rules, the syllabic structure of haiku ensures that no word is used superfluously. Here, the universality of the haiku is