Relationships – an Australian Sonnet

 Joseph Harker‘s Refinery is doing a brilliant job at in-depth critiquing of poetry volunteered by readers all known to us.  He has done 2 of Margo Roby’s, one of mine and, the latest, by  Marian Veverka.  

His expositions are helpful and inspiring.  As part of the latest one, he suggests that we write a poem in a traditional received form (sonnet, sestina, rime royal, whatever) that is at least fourteen lines. Focus on our relationship with a particular object in nature and how it sums up a larger opinion/feeling about Nature with a capital N. Include the words “secret”, “arrive”, and “sudden”.  (which I failed to do). Use only the senses of sight and touch for your descriptions.  He offers the form  Australian Sonnet (Bowlesian) for us to try.

 This sonnet form has three Envelope quatrains and a couplet, which gives a rhyme sequence of; a. b. b. a…. c. d. d. c….. e. f. f. e…. g. g…. Each sonnet is Tetrameter, Pentameter, or similar.  Here’s my attempt, which has taken all day, off and on! 

Across the snowfield something strange appears
brown amorphous lumps of earth in line.
Malign event, benign or anodyne?
In north-east wind, a frigid atmosphere.

Detritus of giant beasts had crossed my mind,
though why that should be so I could not fathom,
regretting lack of tool to probe or flatten;
to trudge across for proof I’m disinclined.

When on my way beyond, ideas churning,
answers were considered thick and fast.
At last, aghast I gasped at the contrast
against the white, the brown of worms a-turning.

Of course, small mole at work in blindness peers,
fountain clear, the creature’s retreat endears.

Also posted at dVerse Open Link Night – go see the dozens of goodies there!


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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20 Responses to Relationships – an Australian Sonnet

  1. kkkkaty1 says:

    ..good one! I can learn from you, Viv 😉


  2. Tony Maude says:

    This is a fine sonnet, Viv. For me, it is the quick internal rhymes of these lines,
    “… thick and fast.
    At last, aghast I gasped at the contrast
    against …”
    which stands out. That’s really good writing.

    Glad to see you’re in sonnet writing mood – that might be handy later this week (hint). Did I say Milton?


  3. Pamela says:

    Viv, you are always such a wiz a form. Love this.



  4. Pat Hatt says:

    Very nicely done, nailed it I say in every way.


  5. Laurie Kolp says:

    Such musicality in your language… I especially like the first stanza. Can’t wait to see what Joseph has to say, but I have to ask– how do you ever get him to visit your blog?


  6. Misky says:

    Reads well, Viv. Good job.


  7. brian miller says:

    nice…i rather like the worms a turning…the soil, the mole in the end…cool form viv…you worked it well…with me the greatest accomplishment is the way it sounds when read…


  8. BTW, yes, we do have elms…but they are constantly under attack by those damn beetles. As are birch trees.


  9. You are courageous, Viv, and your effort paid off. Brilliant, skillfully crafted. The form seems quite challenging.


  10. Oh as you know I am a fan of traditional forms… and you did a great job on it… and the worms a-turning I could smell the soil in your words.


  11. Jeff says:

    Ah, it was an enlightened mole inspired . . . and rightly rewarded with your vivid portrayal of his attendant mysteries.
    Your all-day project a complete success.


  12. Love the sound play and earthen contrast to remaining snow!! Great sonnet, Viv!!


  13. Ron. says:

    I’d grown away from writing sonnets. This makes me want to get back to it. I especially like the little internal rhyme tricks you pulled off in the middle lines of each stanza. great work, V!


  14. I think you did a great job with a challenging prompt.

    Is it allowed to change ‘I’m’ to ‘I am’ for the rhythm?


  15. siggiofmaine says:

    Nice work…hard work shows…I’m not an expert as you know, but think you managed to meet the challenge.


  16. I think that you accomplished it. I like it!


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