About the Author

Sonnet L'Abbe

Books by this Author
Killarnoe
Excerpt

OH

(((((o)))))

this o is my throat
this o is my oh yeah
this o is my really
this o is my credulousness

((((o))))

this o is my soundful closed
this o is my politeness
this o is my mask
this o is my feigned interest

(((o)))

this o is my I see
this o is the shared place
this o is my sympathy
this o is my mistake

((o))

this o is my aha
this o is my incredulousness
this o is my startling backward
this o is our otherness

(o)

this o is just o
this o is symbolic sound
this o is the presence of nothing
this o is common ground

o

this o is my lips
this o is my gentle kiss
this o is my suckling
o my greedy tenderness

oh
uh-oh
oh

A Word about the Poem by Sonnet L’Abbe
One of the interests I explore in Killarnoe is the unspoken relationship of phonemes (basic units of sound in language, like “ah,” or “sh,” or “uh”) to meaning. There’s an intuitive connection between the feeling elicited in the body when pronouncing a word and its signification. For example, the pristine sound of “ee” suggests a clean, free motion or a scream, while the hollow sound of “oh” suggests something lower, something whole and orblike.

I’m also interested in how these sounds get coded culturally, in what “sounds foreign” to Canadian ears. Where bazaars are common, names with “z” aren’t bizarre, but what does it mean to be named Aziz or Zalena here?

How the Poem Works by Margaret Christakos
Living in parentheses is resisted through utterance, on the wing’s highest heart and at language’s most inner pitches, so that the reverberations of that tiniest of bon mots signifies the radiance of the self. L’Abbe’s incantatory repetition and melodic optimism complete a notative poetics of private thought, of public comeback, and of identity inscription. Greedy, and tender, like the mouth itself.

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