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.”
Not only did I hit a better stride with the sonnet, but, inspired by Sidney and Spenser, I began to wonder if the sonnet cycle might be revived for modern readers. There are only three in this one, not a hundred or so, but they are interlocked by the repetition of last lines as first ones, coming full circle back to the very first sonnet in the last line of the third. Since the one in the last entry got it started, I will repeat it here so you can get the full effect.
A new-born leaf and an ancient, lofty star
Converge in space and time before my eye;
The one as near as is the other far,
And both are wondrous things—but both will die.
The leaf will wither in the summer sun
Or else be blasted by chill winter air
And wither just the same—it all is one;
But while it lives, it lives, and it is fair.
Before man woke to see, this star was bright,
And when the last man sleeps it will remain.
But someday there will be a starless night,
And nothing, ever again, will be the same.
And yet we pray to Him who outlives all
And know that He will hear us when we call!
We know that He will hear us when we call
Because of who He is and what He is:
Creator, Master, Savior, Lord of all,
Whose laughter is the thunder; dew, his kiss.
He feeds his children with a varied feast
That He grows from soil and sun and summer rain.
His Word shines out like lightning from the East
And flashes to the West, and back again.
And hark! The piercing, clarion trumpet’s cry
That cuts the still night air, unbearably sweet:
It is the signal of His passing by
Some lowly, maybe mortal man to meet.
And at His name, the planets, Venus, Mars,
Bow in joyful silence with the stars.
The planets bow in silence and the stars,
With one exception: Earth, the haughty, proud
Kingdom of Lucifer, shackled with iron bars,
Who neither Joy nor Love nor Peace allows
To pass the warlike borders of his realm.
He fails! For he cannot keep out the dew
Nor still the thunder, nor the wind-in-elm,
Nor blot out the lightning! Not a few
Slaves’ hearts’ bonds have been shattered, charged with light
As bright as noonday sun, and made to live
A new life by this mystic lightning’s strike.
Redemption sure it offers; life it gives.
This wonder we proclaim as Lord of all,
And He it is who hears us when we call!
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://www.createspace.com/3562314 and order Stars Through the Clouds!
Donald T. Williams, PhD