Saturday, April 26, 2014

PAD Day 26: A Sonnet on Fear of Water

Today's dual prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: (1) Write a "water" poem, and (2) write a "curtal sonnet".  The latter was suggested by my new poetry friend Vince Gotera.  It's a shorter sonnet of eleven lines: a sestet with the rhyme scheme ABCABC, followed by a quatrain with the rhyme scheme DCBD or DBCD, and a final line with the C rhyme, which is "curtailed" to a single foot (2 to 4 syllables).  Gerard Manley Hopkins invented this form, and one of his most famous poems, "Pied Beauty" is written as a curtal sonnet.  So here is my semi-autobiographical poem:


Perhaps it was the summer I was four -
a rogue wave swallowed me - one of my aunts
was there to pluck me out. "You'll live," she frowned.

Since then, big water's something I endure,
but never love. Can I swim? Not a chance,
nor do I sail - I'd rather stay aground.

Don't pity me my dry life - I'm content
away from lake and ocean, pond and sound.
But if there's some wet, desperate circumstance,
if some great flood falls from the firmament,

                                                I'm drowned. 

1 comment:

Vince Gotera said...

Bruce, that's a really good curtal sonnet, I'd say. Especially since it's your first. You do good justice to the form. Keep writing 'em! (I may be partial to the subject ... you're speaking for me too.)