Bat & Man Presents Sonnets About Bruce Wayne

I am trying to think of two other art forms, other than poetry and comics, that give you less chance of earning a living wage. While one is fine art, the other mass, the two have other things in common, such as the devotion of those few left following the medium and the determination of the practitioners.

Bat & Man Sonnets

Chad Parmenter has combined the two in Bat & Man, a collection of 19 sonnets available from Finishing Line Press. Mark Cudd provides a handful of creepy illustrations. (I have not used the subtitle, “A Sonnet Comic Book”, shown, because there are few pictures and no comics in this book at all, and I find it misleading.)

The poems take the premise of Bruce telling Selina about his nightmares. The sonnets I’m familiar with are the old ones, such as Shakespeare’s classics, so I found the broken lines used here, with statements wrapping from one to another, and the back and forth from character to character to mid-line, off-putting. Sometimes it seems like simply cutting every time you have enough syllables, as though hitting a carriage return on a typewriter, not based on structuring verse. I’m not familiar with modern poetry, though, or its rules or expectations.

Most of the poems, about Bruce’s conception and childhood and drunken playboy state, could have applied to any well-off son, with the occasional bat image. There is no portrait of him as Batman, as a crime-fighter or a symbol of justice. I can imagine someone wanting to put this book together, with the hero such fertile ground for psychological exploration and symbolic examination, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read it as more than a curiosity or proof of concept. Yes, you can write poems about Batman, but why would you want to?

Here’s an interview with Paramenter that explains it was kind of a dare with himself. Here’s a much more thorough review from a poetry perspective that includes samples of the poems and images.

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