The Kreutzer Sonata by Donna Hilbert

The Kreutzer Sonata

The Kreutzer Sonata
is perfect for cooking:
about forty minutes
adagio through presto.
The insistent opening ideal
for mincing garlic and onion.
Forty minutes for risotto
from impulse to finish.
Forty minutes at 425 to oven-roast
potatoes and fish in a caste-iron skillet
(after 20 minutes, slip fish into the pan
with potatoes, and make a green salad).
Forty minutes to start
a good soup on the stove.
Put the soup on to simmer,
and begin the sonata again.


Donna Hilbert’s latest book is Threnody, from Moon Tide Press. Earlier books include Gravity: New & Selected Poems, Tebot Bach, 2018. She is a monthly contributing writer to the on-line journal Verse-Virtual. Work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Braided Way, Chiron Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Rattle, Zocalo Public Square, One Art, and numerous anthologies. Poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and on Lyric Life. She writes and leads private workshops in Southern California, where she makes her home, and during residencies at Write On Door County. Learn more at

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