The Car: a sonnet sequence with illustrations
Author: Stuart Larner
Published: 27th September 2016
A sequence of twenty-eight illustrated Shakespearean sonnets describing the human condition in terms of the mechanical components of a motor car. An owner’s workshop manual for servicing your life.
Revised edition, now including illustrations and revised text, of a sonnet sequence which first appeared without illustrations in 1995.
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‘The Car’ asks, and tries to answer, these kinds of questions:
If the arc across the sparking plug’s gap is an indication of love, can love’s bright spark be cultivated like the ignition timing management system?
What can be learnt about human relationships by studying the phenomenon of clutch judder?
Can we discern our path in life by the way we drive at night, and by how we use indicators, windscreen wipers and washers, and the horn?
Does automatic transmission mean our modern society has learnt to leave decisions to a box?
What does the differential bearing assembly have to say about the working of the parliamentary system?
Does studying suspension and damper arrangements have guidelines for child-rearing?
Can the process of tyre wear and braking systems inform therapy for addiction?
Is human depression treatable by learning from the fuel gauge mechanism, the radiator, and the battery?
Is there life after death in a scrap yard?
Sonnet 2 . Checking One Out
Counting houses, the one with fading bloom.
A quaint style, I praise their decoration:
Lying, “I like the way you’ve done this room!
Let’s see the car.” Guarded expectation.
On the dash the normal pen, mints and cloth,
A small unleaded furry animal.
Inside seems strange, their car scent makes me cough.
Well-spruced today, but some days not at all.
The driver’s view is for another’s eyes.
His legs are long, the seat sticks on a bone.
The mirror’s odd, my twisting body tries
To change his world, sit in it as my own.
Model same as mine, the same things were spent,
Yet, in the same ways, had grown different.
Stuart Larner is a chartered psychologist. As Mental Health Expert, he ran an advice column for XL for Men Magazine. He has published international articles and poems in magazines and newspapers, as well as in scientific journals. He has been involved in scriptwriting and directing productions at the Edinburgh Fringe. Stuart published Scarborough Modern Sea Songs; an ebook in verse “Jack Daw and the Cat”; and an enovel about cricket entitled “Guile and Spin”. With Rosie Larner he co-wrote : “Hope: Stories from a Women’s Refuge.”