Friday, January 04, 2008

Red Berry Sonnet

berries 2

In the depth of winter's bitter cold
hangs the shriveled red of autumn's seed.
Wandering round the garden's edge, this weed
can not be kept apart; it grows too bold
and knows a raging hunger. An old
heart that answers yet a stronger need
than any gardener's careful plans, indeed
it is a treasure more than gold.
What gem is hidden in this envelope?
Nothing less than the immortal face.
It is a twist of nature's deepest, strongest rope
leading us along the trail of grace;
the hook on which we hang all hope.
The ovum - spark of all life's knitted lace.

......... Andromeda Jazmon

I have a confession to make. This is the first sonnet I have written in over 25 years; maybe it is the first sonnet I have ever written. I foolishly agreed to join in with some of my most admired poet bloggers in the creation of a Crown of Sonnets; in which we each write a sonnet on a theme so that all seven sonnets compliment one another. I don't know what I was thinking. I am afraid flattery in being asked carried me away and blinded me to my weakness. In any case I have been in deep despair ever since as I try to practice writing sonnets and keep coming up with only another haiku-like poem.

What to do? I got a book of garden poetry from my son for Christmas and took it back to the bookstore to exchange it for a book of sonnets. I ordered another anthology of Black poets because one review mentioned some brilliant sonnets by one of the poets. I have been studying the form online. I have been beating my head on the keyboard trying to practice writing rhymed couplets. I am desperate.

Yesterday I was taking photos for my 365 Photo project blog and took a series on these red berries. This morning I woke up thinking maybe I should throw out all the other poor struggling attempts at sonnets that I have wrangled out of my fingers in the last two weeks and meditate on these berries.

Hallelujah! At least I could build a rhyme scheme here! Iambic pentameter fell into place, for the most part. At last, some sort of a a sonnet by the skin of my teeth.

The Friday Poetry Roundup is over at A Year of Reading today. Go enjoy!


Mary Lee said...

Huzzah, huzzah!

You took my breath away! "a twist of natures' deepest, strongest rope" and "spark of all life's knitted lace". Oh my. Glorious and true.

Tricia said...

You have completely captured my feelings about this. When Laura's sonnet arrived, signaling my turn, I wanted to throw up. I'm still struggling to make it work.

Your sonnet, my friend, is lovely. I know you'll be just fine!

tanita✿davis said...

You -- are SO my type of poet.
I'm panicking, too, and my sonnet's not for another little while. If only my what-have-I-gotten-into could turn out as well as YOUR sonnet. It's beautiful!!!

jama said...

What a perfectly beautiful sonnet! You captured nature's essence in those berries -- an old heart that answers yet a stronger need . . .

Thanks for sharing your struggle to "birth" these creation.

Anonymous said...

Those last three lines?
I am swooning. I'm serious.

This is lovely and please please please don't make yourself sick over sonnets. Truly.

New Year's Resolution: Staying sane and healthy in the face of sonnet writing. (Tricia, Tadmack... talkin' to you, too.)

Although now I'm starting to freak a little myself. Sigh. Misery loves company...

Anonymous said...

Holy katzenjammers. Wow. That was just about all she could say. Wow.

So, so, so gorgeous. And the last 6 lines (and the last 3 in particular?) Completely breathtaking.

And about panic. I go last. And I'm already starting to feel queasy.

Sara said...

Holy crap. (And I don't say that much.) This is powerful in its subject matter, and I agree with Mary Lee on her favorite lines. How I love that bit about knitted lace and the DNA references in the words "deepest, strongest rope." Your sonnet just gets more and more powerful as it unwinds, and leaves me feeling walloped.

All your digging and delving and sweating the the poetry garden is bearing amazing fruit. And honestly, the sonnet form respects those who come to it with sincere longing. I think you earned this beautiful sonnet, my friend.

sheila said...

What a great sonnet! And such a lovely photo - I love the pictures you include with your entries.

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

Gorgeous! I love reading your poetry and viewing your phenomenal photos. It's so inspiring.

Marcie at World of Words

Vivian Mahoney said...

Oh, my word. And you're worried about writing the sonnet? This is simply stunning. Strong. Powerful. Hopeful. Beautiful.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Oh my friends you have warmed my heart and left me blushing. phew.

mbpbooks said...

Your sonnet brought to this old heart "the twist of nature's deepest, strongest rope leading us along the trail of grace."

Liz Dwyer said...

How beautiful for a first sonnet in 25 years. I'm sure if the berries could thank you for your homage, they would.

laurasalas said...

This is gorgeous! My favorite lines are 4-5 (love that raging hunger) and the final 4. What an exploration of the inextricable ties between hope and science.


Elaine Magliaro said...

That's one heckuva first attempt at a sonnet! I felt I didn't have the wherewithal at this time to contribute to the Crown of Sonnets. I am really impressed with your Red Berry Sonnet!!!

Happy New Year!

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Jules, 7-Imp

Cynthia Bostwick said...

This is truly lovely. You inspire me. face, ovum, trails--you've made love real, and bold, and sweet all at once. Thank you.

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

Truly great! I loved your story of struggling to write it and then it coming on its own. Great photo, too.