Yesterday’s blog entry felt like an opening opportunity to investigate the depths of these springtime joys. And since I’ve challenged myself to see what poetic inspirations I can find on the general theme of ‘spring,’ I thought I’d have a quick go in the sonnet form.
I’m a fan of the classic Shakespearean (sometimes called the English) sonnet. I like the idea of the eight line scene setting, and then the about-face that the final quatrain invokes, the sense of looking at the picture from a different perspective. I mused, why don’t I try to put our marshland walk, or the prosaic blogging format that I’d already done, describing that amble, into poetry?
Now the final couplet, by contrast, is meant to energise the sonnet, to reveal something of the question and even the catharsis behind the poem’s development. I discovered, somewhat to my chagrin as my mind raced ahead of my dancing fingers in search of the question to pose, that springtime isn’t all joyful fecundity, bursting with life. That new life also means natural predation, and that means peril for some. And so my sonnet itself came to life as the resolving couplet fell into place, a little sense of the perils camouflaged in the joy that springtime brings.
I like, as Shakespeare’s sonnets are now performed, to read through the lines, though my ambition is always to adhere strictly to scansion, in this case iambic hexameter. Of course the poet must not get so hung up on that aim that it gets in the way of the easy-on-the-eye and gentle-on-the-ear lilt of the form at its best. I confess I really enjoy the discipline involved in keeping the line as simple as possible yet still ‘getting it right.’
Fierce Nature All nearly popped, the buds of willow force a stop to snap an image, as we walk through marshland near us on our way from winter into springtime’s shop. The telephoto lens makes season’s passing clear. And there, beside last autumn’s leaf, a swollen oak bud seems to shout, ‘I’m out!’ Come breezes round about and gather here — disperse these pollen grains, evoke the ancient rites of spring and bitter winter flout. While just above our heads, the mighty red kite twirls as brightly coloured chaffinch shelter in the thorns and turning too, I point the lens as wings unfurl; with heart in mouth to catch flight feathers stretched forlorn. If not today, chance predator, your prey succumbs, fierce nature must prevail — your time ahead will come.
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