Sunday, March 23, 2014

Writing a Sonnet

I started writing poetry after my baby was born last year. At first I thought of it as a writing exercise, but I grew to love poetry as powerful means of expression. My first poems were haiku, which I shared on twitter, then I experimented with senryu, tanka, and other Japanese forms. After a friend and fellow writer, Grace Wagner, composed a sonnet on twitter, I thought about giving trying this form made famous by Shakespeare.

However, sonnets are a tricky form with strict meter and rhyme. Shakespearean sonnets are written in iambic pentameter--a meter in which there is an unstressed syllable then stressed syllable, five times. The rhyme scheme for an English sonnet is a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g (Italian sonnets, like those by Plutarch, have a different rhyme scheme). Since sonnets are so complex, and I'm very busy, I've only just now finished some. So here's my first sonnet, at least the first one I'm comfortable publishing on my blog.

The Mother I Wish To Be

I wish I was the mother you deserve
With endless patience and constant kindness
I want to count my blessings and preserve
The warmth of love in the beautiful mess

Beloved baby, I'll try hard for you
To smile and laugh and cuddle my darling
To never let go 'till you want me to
And kiss my love, her eyes bright and sparkling

I know that I fail in so many ways
I get frustrated, impatient, and bored
Exhausted, I'm often stuck in a daze
Forgetting to show you how you're adored

So my precious daughter, let me speak clear
In the whole wide world, there's no one more dear

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