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The Facebook Sonnet

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Courtney Stull

on 26 February 2014

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Transcript of The Facebook Sonnet

Let's Read It!
Moving onto the third stanza, the world of Facebook "let's fame and shame intertwine." This line is pretty much the epitome of the internet, where fame and infamy walk a fine a line every day. Furthermore, Alexie writes, "Let one's search for God become public domain. Let church.com become our church." It seems like the internet is the perfect place to proclaim one's religion while condemning everyone else's in less than 144 characters. The sonnet's final couplet sounds like a sarcastic catch phrase: "Let's sign up, sign in and confess here at the altar of loneliness." Think about that for a moment, "the altar of loneliness" is a website where billions of people are connected instantly...this paradox leaves you wondering why we even bother with Facebook in the first place.
Final Thoughts
In this modern sonnet, Facebook is perfectly and bluntly explained in fourteen lines. The author's tone is sarcastic and real, highlighting the best, worst, and most awkward parts of social networking. The first stanza labels Facebook as "the endless high-school reunion," which is incredibly accurate in my opinion. This leads into the second stanza, which invites us to "undervalue and unmend the present." This is one of the most powerful lines in the sonnet because it's a reminder that time is fleeting, and often, our minds are living in tomorrow while we're stuck in today. Meanwhile, we're busy "extending our childhood playing the game that preoccupy the young." The online world can take so much away from the real world, which is a dangerous thing.
by Sherman Alexie
The Facebook Sonnet
When I found this piece of literature, I was instantly hooked by the idea of a modern sonnet, and then even more intrigued after seeing Sherman Alexie's perspective on the online community. He managed to pull several relatable elements into fourteen lines of text with a bit of humor along the way. I'm always fond of literature that makes you question your everyday habits, and this piece definitely did just that.
Welcome to the endless high-school
Reunion. Welcome to past friends
And lovers, however kind or cruel.
Let's undervalue and unmend

The present. Why can't we pretend
Every stage of life is the same?
Let's exhume, resume and extend
Childhood. Let's all play the games

That preoccupy the young. Let fame
And shame intertwine. Let one's search
For God become public domain.
Let church.com become our church.

Let's sign up, sign in, and confess
Here at the altar of loneliness.
The End
James, Missy, Merickel, Alan P.. "Reading Literature and Writing Argument." Fifth Edition. Pearson 2013. 25 Feb. 2014.
- Courtney Stull
Full transcript