An Anagram Sonnet

Article excerpt

I recently discovered David Shulman's anagramed "sonnet" on "Washington Crossing the Delaware," written in 1936, in Douglas Hofstadter's review of Ross Eckler's Making The Alphabet Dance [NYTimes, 3/10/96], as well as Shulman's reply to that review [NYTimes, letters, 4/7/96], in which he writes: "after waiting 60 years, I find that nobody so far has equaled or surpassed it."

I wrote the following in response to Shulman's implicit challenge. Not only is every line a perfect anagram of the title, it is also a true sonnet in form, and in both coherent sense and syntax may compare favorably to Shulman's effort.

Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus"
    Love is born. A thin cloud bestirs theft--
   such a festive birth not to be droll sin.
   No strict habits should live on bereft
   of love. …