Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
Spring came at last and brought with it my third sonnet—not yet a very good one, but less awkward, and showing an increasing level of comfort with the Shakespearean form, despite still a good bit of cheating. But the quatrains function as paragraphs and the couplet is starting to have a little of the punch that the Shakespearian couplet is designed to have, aided by the ironic reversal of the normal relationship of life and death in the last line. Experience right now teaches us that with death all life must end, but the historical Resurrection of Christ, boosted by the repeated pattern of Spring, allows a better hope (and a more interesting ending) for people of biblical faith.
SONNET no. III
Today the snow begins to melt away
And slush and dirt will come to take its place,
Leaving mud where Sun was wont to play
At making bright the whiteness of earth’s face.
The path which booted feet must go to tread
Will fill with mire whose suction holds them back
Until the walking fills his soul with dread
Whose pathway takes him o’er the ruined track.
Though bright and cold like swords Snow strikes our eyes
And, lifting spirit, fills the heart with song,
On leaving makes a world that we despise,
Whose dirty, drab-dead sickness lasteth long.
But this must be e’er leaves of Spring begin!
It is the Law: with life all death must end.