My mother’s grave is covered now in gold
and yellows mums; I never visit there.
The wind in winter blows too rough and cold;
I lack the strength to stand the frigid air
against my face; my hands would only ache.
Sucking in the chill my lungs burn dry,
I’d gasp and clutch a tree against the break-
neck speed of gales and squalls that singe my eye.
No, I remain deep in the south where warm,
the sun can only do me good, and think
of how the snow drifts round the stone in storms;
where frozen mums are waiting roses pink
to kiss the face of God when time is done
and scatter blossoms all about in sun.
Breaking with the strictest rules of the English Sonnet, I have chosen the following aberrations:
The first eight lines are broken, not into two quatrains, but into syntactical breaks of five and three. This choice is made to propel the poem forward with a sense of urgency and to support the imbalance of the voice.
Also, line seven is only 9 syllables, which echoes the meaning of the line — stolen breath.
Lastly, line nine, which serves as my turn (volta) is clearly not in iambic form, which puts into question the choice made to not visit. Because the subject matter of this sonnet is meant to express an asymmetrical feel, these slight deviations are designed to support that.
I welcome feedback regarding these choices!
Join us at dVerse Poet’s Pub where we are challenging ourselves with the Sonnet Form. This week I am hosting a special edition of Meeting the Bar where I support our month-long Sonnet Challenge with a close look at how the enjambed line impacts our sonnets.