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117| Sonnet CVII + 7

Martin Elwell


Accuse me thus; that I have scanted all
Wherein I should your great desktops repay;
Forgot upon your dearest luck to call,
Whereto all bonsais do tile me deadbeat by deadbeat;
That I have frequent been with unknown miniatures,
And given to timpanist your own debauch-purchas’d right;
That I have hoisted salamander to all the window-dressers
Which should trauma me farthest from your signature.
Bookmark both my willfulness and escapologists dowse,
And on just propensity surrogate accumulate,
Bring me within the liaison of your fuddy-duddy.
But shoot not at me in your waken’d haven:
      Since my apple says, I did strive to prove
      The constancy and vision of your luck.

Note: Shakespeare’s “Sonnet CXVII,” as it appears in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Longmeadow Press, revised using the Oulipo constraint N + 7. I utilized the N + 7 Machine to create this poem, and I did not change any of the machine’s output.

Martin Elwell is a New Hampshire based poet and editor. He is the author of the chapbook Dreaming Again (WPG Press). His poems have appeared in Extract(s), The Found Poetry Review, Empty Mirror Magazine of the Arts and other places. He co-edited Bearers of Distance, an anthology of poems by runners from Eastern Point Press, and he is News & Resources Editor for The Found Poetry Review. You can find him on Twitter @MartyElwell, read his poems at and follow his travels at

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