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The Rhyme Maker

S. H. Bass
b. 1956

Theme:  Love and Romance

Special Rhyme List:  Copyrighted poetry

Author's Notes:
Sonnets are often unnamed and numbered, especially when they are part of a “sonnet sequence”.  This tradition inspired these sonnets and their titles.  The idea was to write a two-sonnet sequence covering the “first days” and the latter days of romance, thus “Sonnet #1" and "Sonnet #1,234".  Get it?

The sonnet is a very structured form of poetry. Fourteen lines, written in iambic pentameter (10-beats, or syllables, per line.), with a structured rhyme scheme.

For better examples of the sonnet here at, check out Elizabeth Barrett Browning John Milton Amy Lowell , and Robert Louis Stevenson.
May I suggest that you play Sinatra's version of “Moon River” by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer while you read these sonnets?  This classic song, as rendered by Frank Sinatra, was playing in my head as I wrote them.  (For Sinatra, words do matter!)

- S. H. Bass  

more S. H. Bass at
A List
A Wine Poem

An Altar Boy's Lament

Buy With Bread . . . Sell With Cheese
From The Cellar


My New Trinity
Ode To White Zinfandel
Our Vintage Years
Red Wine and Black Coffee
Somewhere In The Wine

Spilt Wine
The Discovery
The Poet's Wine (a prose poem)
What Can Be Said About Both Wine And Poetry

Wine is . . .
Wine Knows No Winter
Wine, Thy Name Is Woman

Translations into English Verse:
Hymn To Beauty by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of Lovers by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of The Murderer by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of The Rag-Pickers by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of The Solitary by Charles Baudelaire
Over the past year I've given up by Cecci Angiolieri
Three Clusters Of Grapes by Giovanni Pascoli

Stop Button Clutter sign.
A Sonnet Sequence
S. H. Bass (b. 1956), American writer/poet

Sonnet #1

Our first kiss tasted of strawberry wine
(a wine more of the lab than the field).
Two sips from your lips – I swear the famed vine
lands of France never produced such a yield!
A passion curiosity-driven,
too clumsy and cautious to be called “lust”.
Denim on denim, the limits given,
amid the trees and the leaves and the dust.
Done – wary of mothers (nothing escapes
their ardent inspection from limbs to hems),
we sat in those woods, like two grooming apes,
cleaning each other of leaves and stems.
That night on the phone, we talked for some
of love and limits and strawberry wine.

Sonnet #1,234

Any old song with Sinatra's phrasing,
An Autumn moon's reflection in the wine,
Fresh-baked bread – a loaf just for our grazing,
Your gentle hand anywhere close to mine.
In younger days, amid life's “why's” and “how's”,
a note would pass (perhaps we'd had a fight):
a simple sonnet filled with “Thy-s” and “Thou-s”,

your smile – the promise of later that night.
Beneath this moon, you are my wine and bread,
my “huckleberry friend” of whom Frank sings.
All the sonnets, all the words we have said
pale in the stillness that this moment brings.
We've crossed that river “wider than a mile”.
Thou can still undress me with just thy smile.

from Bottled Poetry: Verses From The Vine, edited by Stephen H. Bass (Robinsonville, MS: Spilt Wine Publishing Co., 2013).  © 2013 Stephen H. Bass. All rights reserved.  Posted at with the permission of Stephen H. Bass.

S. H. Bass (b. 1956):  Stephen H. Bass is an American writer/poet.  The webmaster of vintagewinepoems.comhis  fingers are typing these words.  He will now switch to the first person - singular.

To call myself a “writer” is a heralding of avocation rather than occupation, although wielding a creative “pen in hand” has always been an ancillary part of my earning a living. While creating plans and content for the various communications needs of a business entity is not exactly the stuff of the creative writer, the challenges of simplifying the complex, enlivening the mundane, celebrating the everyday . . . this is the “stuff” of all successful communications – from the sonnet to the business memorandum.

The stereotype of the struggling young artist “waiting tables” as he plugs away at his craft in his “off-hours”, is a template that lays over my life quite nicely (if not snuggly) - for forty years now. The tables I currently wait upon are covered with green felt rather than a checkered tabled cloth, my current occupation being that of a floor supervisor in the table games department of a casino.   Other tables I have “waited on” include the retail sales counter, the salesman’s cubbyhole, and the manager’s desk - with an extended period as a manager of a local wine shop.  As for the “struggling young artist” title:  I am still “struggling”, along with the rest of middle-class America.  I feel young!  I am, however, old enough to realize that “artist” is a title best conveyed upon one rather than claimed for oneself. 

I have some things to say:  some thoughts to share, some stories to tell - you should be hearing from me.  is but a whisper, a “Psst - hey buddy . . . .” from a darkened alleyway. 
- S. H. Bass   

Stephen H. Bass on the web:

lnk to

Stephen H. Bass at AMAZON

  by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  with an introduction and notes by Stephen H. Bass

  Plus Sonnets from the Porte-Cochère
   by S. H. Bass


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