Sonnet: A memory alone (Guest post)

Upon whose sweet sorrow will I cast these
Inscriptions that can never ease the pain;
Eternity now lies beneath these trees,
And never to be lost or found again.
The stone is standing sombre, cold as night;
Among the fading roses shadows play.
The trauma of the angels’ hopeless plight;
A memory once treasured dies away.
I’ll think of you in things we used to share
Instead; the places that we used to love,
The scent of flowers in the summer air,
The soft white snow cascading from above.
For me, your memory is not that stone;
I hold you in my mind and heart alone.

 
 

I’m proud to present the first sonnet written by my daughter, aged 13. It was an English homework assignment, so she’ll get ‘official’ feedback from her teacher, but I know she’d be thrilled to hear from the WordPress poetry community. Thank you! N.

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7 thoughts on “Sonnet: A memory alone (Guest post)

  1. Wll, if your daughter doesnt get a tripple A star for this then I will “march” right there and demand it! This is wonderful, the talent clearly runs in the family. I would be spilling this all over WordPress and facebook and everywhere else if I had written this. Just beautiful x

    • Thank you, Christine – she was delighted with that. I take no hereditary credit whatsoever for her musical talent, but I like to think I’ve contributed a little rogue poetry gene in there somewhere! N.x

  2. This is a really good, mature sonnet. The truth is that most of the college students I have taught over the decades would not have written one this mature. Mostly they express love gone wrong in their lives or celebrate the beauty of their love. This goes way beyond that, using language in a way that has a formal music that has to be as effective as playing a difficult piece of music well.
    From my standpoint craft has to come before art, and when the craft of writing is mastered then true art can be achieved. This is a melancholy sonnet, of course. Describing a moment in a graveyard before a headstone, remembering:
    I’ll think of you in things we used to share
    Instead; the places that we used to love,
    The scent of flowers in the summer air,
    The soft white snow cascading from above…
    the poet comes to a conclusion in the couplet:
    For me, your memory is not that stone;
    I hold you in my mind and heart alone…
    that rings with a truth that reminds the reader of who they are as a living human being.
    All good sonnets have a turn in them, a place where the initial scene has been set and the poem moves toward its denouement. In this sonnet the turn occurs in this line:
    I’ll think of you in things we used to share…
    where the poet moves from contemplation of the gravestone and memories of the past to personally contemplating how that sight affects them. This is good craft.
    My final conclusion is that this is an extraordinary effort by such a young person. Craft and art takes a long effort to truly flower, but one could hope that this poet continues developing in the future.

  3. Your insights and reflections are always wise and generous, Tom. You and I are on the same page regarding the relationship between craft and art, of course, and I too am very encouraged that she’s ‘getting’ the iambic pentameter, the volta, and the overall shape of the sonnet. The words will follow, I’m sure. Thank you for taking the time to respond so fully and thoughtfully. Coming from so fine a poet, your comments carry great weight, and I know she was thrilled by them. N.

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