Thursday, February 22, 2007

#305: February 22, 2007

I think the trees are whispering to me
in languages I've not the skill to learn--
all sibilant, susurrous, all breath;
and also how they sway against the breeze,
the way their branches bend and leaves vibrate,
these also are the grammar of their speech,
heavy with meaning as ripening fruit.

If it's what I imagine it to be,
if in the acorn's dip and blossom's turn,
in creak of greenwood and in seedling death
encoded lies the history of the trees--
perhaps one day, if we are not too late,
if wisdom has not fled beyond our reach,
these ancient, verdant songs will strike us mute.

5 comments:

Sonnet Boy said...

Well, it's taken me 305 sonnets and nearly ten and a half months, but I've finally decided to try my hand at inventing my own sonnet form.

I've been using the Italian and English forms pretty much exclusively, with occasional variations on the rhyme schemes (ABBA in the English sonnets, for instance) or restrictions on the number of rhymes (my favorite being ABBA BCCB ABCABC, or some other combination in the sestet, which is hard to do but nice when it comes together, as here, here, or here) to spice them up.

What I've tried today--and this is the first time, so hopefully this will develop and refine if I decide to write more in this form--are two septets, keeping the iambic pentameter, unrhymed interally (that is, within each septet) but each strictly rhymed with the corresponded septet--which is to say, ABCDEFG ABCDEFG.

I kind of like the way it opens itself up, being at least in the first septet a lot more wide-open and free-feeling, like blank verse; and that's the way I wrote it. Then when I got to the second septet, all that freedom shut down and I had to conform to the rhyme, which led to more structured inventiveness. I don't know if the resulting poem is anthology-worthy, but I can see the form being interesting to work with.

Anyway, so there you have it. The first sonnet (to my knowledge) of its kind. Now what should I call it? Maybe the "Scott-ish" sonnet? :)

middleclasstool said...

Me, I like it. In fact, I came in here to say just that. I hadn't caught the rhyme scheme -- I just thought you'd abandoned them for this one (I happen to be a professional poetry moron), so I'm glad I had your comment to show me what I'd missed.

You're right, it feels more open to me, having the rhyming structure spread out like that. Airy. Very nice.

I think this is one of your betters, really.

Sonnet Boy said...

What's funny is that while I'm writing it, the first septet is wide open, spacious, unrestrained--I can do whatever I want, say whatever I care to, without worrying about rhyme.

However, the second septet is the opposite of that, as the choices I've made in the first septe, the line endings and such, absolutely restrict the possibilities open to me in the second. So the first is a wide open window, the second is a slamming door.

In that, the sonnet form mimics life, the limitless choices you have at the youth are closed off by the cosequences of those choices in your age.

Or something like that. :) Expect my self-important treatise on the subject in days to come.

Serena Joy said...

Scott-ish Sonnet sounds perfect to me. By any name, I love what you've done.

Wherever you're off to this weekend, have a great time.

Old Bolingbroke said...

Liked your sonnet, and the new form is interesting. I'm going to try it. If I'm not too ahamed of what I produce I'll let you know.

I admire your stamina by the way.