Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
If I’ve added anything to the history of the sonnet other than over a hundred more attempts at one, it might be some exploration of the form’s dramatic potential. In addition to the other things it has done over the years, the sonnet can have the concentration to make it the poetic equivalent of the short story. Anyway, let’s take a particularly dramatic sunrise, turn it into a dramatic monologue instead of a straight nature poem, pack it into fourteen lines, and see what happens.
SUNRISE, FEBRUARY 1974
Distant, dim, the fortress mountains stood
Beneath the fading light of a single star;
And we looked out from the edges of the wood
To watch the last light’s funeral from afar,
Remembering how we first had seen the Sun.
We watched him rise in glory in the East,
Rejoiced at seeing fear and darkness run
To hide from his bright presence; but he ceased
To rise, and fell. We watched him slowly die
In glory that could rival e’en his birth;
Then saw his children in the darkened sky,
Laughing! We could not understand their mirth—
‘Til, vaulting o’er the battlements, back he came
And turned the leaden fog to golden flame!
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://www.createspace.com/3562314 and order Stars Through the Clouds!
Donald T. Williams, PhD