In Daniel Galef’s Imaginary Sonnets, a cast of people and objects from mythology, history, the news, and the quotidian parades through a variety of imaginative scenarios. In dialogues, dramatic monologues, satires, lamentations, eulogies, and execrations, the sonnets adopt perspectives ranging from the familiar to the novel to the twisty and surprising. Characters include not only widely known figures such as Cassandra, Pandora, St. Augustine, Byron, and Doris Day, but also obscure ones such as Henrique of Melacca, Emmett Till’s father, John Taurek, and-more startling-a salmon, a snowflake, and a pair of parallel lines. Imaginary Sonnets entertains and entrances with every turn of the page.
Praise & Reviews
I love sonnet sequences, and Daniel Galef has written a rollicking collection that is alive with wit, intelligence, and wild imagination, as in the poem of unrequited love between two parallel lines. If you want to know what Cézanne has to say, not to mention Cassandra, Alcibiades, and “Parmenides to Doris Day,” then dig into this cornucopia of crazy, formal fun.
— Barbara Hamby, author of Holoholo
Daniel Galef’s sonnet cycle is a rare feat of empathy, wit, style, and (as the title hints) imagination. I’m thankful to have this book, in which the messy overlaps of life are somehow illuminated in work of astonishing, clear-eyed discipline.
— Jack Pendarvis, author of Movie Stars
Daniel Galef’s debut collection, Imaginary Sonnets, demonstrates his mastery of the form as well as his ability to reinvigorate it with wit and experimentation. These fourteen-line biographies and tales open up a world, largely drawn from literature, that your history books ignored and that you will enjoy.
— A. M. Juster, author of Wonder and Wrath
The sonnet is one nifty little container, isn’t it? Each of these poems contains its own tiny library—of books, sure, but life experiences, history . . . okay, everything, from Pandora (she of the box full of imps) to Casey (he of the Mudville Nine) and beyond. There’s even a taco talking to a chalupa, and I’m not making that up. Nobody could make that up except Daniel Galef.
— David Kirby, author of Help Me, Information