Sunday, December 24, 2006

#245: December 24, 2006

Some children don't believe the story's real;
But Christmas Eve there'll come a heavy tread
That shakes rafters as he walks overhead
Then slithers down the chimney like an eel;

He'll claw open the flue and slowly creep
Across the floor, leaving a trail of slime
From hearth to stair--then he'll begin his climb
Up to the rooms where children lie asleep;

The good he'll leave--they're flavorless and bland--
It's naughty meat he licks his whiskers for;
He passes like a phantom through the door
Toward sleeping heads, and stretches out his hand...

So children, say your prayers and say them quick,
If you've got an appointment with Old Nick.


Jerusalemrising said...

Hm... I see what you're trying to do, I'm not a good representation of the world here, but I very quickly jumped to the conclusion that it was Saint Nick. Down the chimney gave it away. Some literary criticism, if you care:
I usually bend my thoughts and ideas to rigid sonnet form, If you don't, then please tell me how otherwise to write a sonnet, but I'll be quick and merciless if you'll accept my comments to better your sonnets. Many lines flow well- in that you exceed most modern writers, and I complement you. But in Line 3, "shakes" doesn't work with the meter. I'd suggest changing it to "shaketh," so it's two syllables, and then changing "as he walks" to "walking" Again, don't think I like destroying your work, but I think it'd work better. Also lines 5 and 6 with "open" and "leaving" are a little shaky, and I think you want "climb" instead of "clime"- simple typo I'm sure.
Anyway, whether or not you found my comments useful, undoubtably arrogant as they were, I'd like you to look at my sonnets on The Voice of the Spirit Muse- and send me some comments of your own. Thank you for humoring my advice, and keep writing sonnets! There are too few of us...

mrs. tool said...

St. Nick and Old Nick are two very, very different characters, j.r.

Sonnet Boy said...


"Shaketh" is a bit too archaic for me here, I think. Whenever possible I'm trying to use modern speech patterns, unless the subject matter or tone demand it.

I've written plenty of sonnets with the straight iambic rhythm with no variations (see the extensive archive), but every now and then I think throwing in a different metric foot isn't unforgiveable. Otherwise I think it tends to sound forced. For instance, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" is not straight iambic, nor would you want it to be. :)

At any rate, I'll check out your sonnets. Thanks for reading mine!

Oh, and what Ms. Tool said. :)