Seven Sonnets

renoir-still-life-with-flowers

The first poem here is an imitation of Shakespeare’s 18th sonnet. They were all composed between 2009 and 2013 (I wrote the first in high school).

I.

I would not compare my love to a clear sky:
Vapid, spacious, and plain as any day
For her blue eyes so lavishly supply
Ineffable love, poetry’s food and clay
Why would I fawn upon the sun or moon?
When her heart can neither wane nor phase
And I know so largely she does not loom
Nor does her visage blind with brutal rays
What could I craft with the red of a rose?
That neither laughs, nor smiles nor plays
For it is with kindred souls that love grows.
Not in my idle, stilted, empty praise
Her lips are timeless, shimmering bliss;
Even the stars are unworthy of her kiss.

II.

Love is not the moment of its conception,
For then a frail fleeting thing love would be.
Nor is love the praise of false perfection
In poets’ odes to unearthly effigies.
Yet, when eyes decide on their desire,
These fallacies like plagues do repeat,
For, for love to live, sight must retire
And let the heart take its silvery seat.
But I have beheld you only in dark night,
When features are indiscernible to eyes,
And dim stars prepare for subtler delight
And higher heavens for lovers to rise.
Blind sight’s insipid looks shall never know
The vivid splendor of your inner glow

III.

Under baneful shade I can feel your lips
For a moment pressed against my own,
And sparks burn bright amidst an eclipse,
Glowing beautifully, but soon they are gone.
In that imagined moment I am unbound
From heaven and earth’s shameful decree,
And I forget, soaring above the ground
That I shall neither know you, nor you me.
Yet my solitude is a welcome fate
When among the gentle glades of gold,
Gilded by the emerald and ivory gate
I envision when your name takes its hold.
Perhaps then knowing you is not the cure,
For then my love would find itself less pure.

IIII.

Imprisoned by your boundless modesty,
You nobly ignore your idolater.
So, he will honor your integrity,
And greet you with an indifferent murmur.
This threat is lifeless, but if it was not
You would not blink, or begin to wonder
What has become of his worthless lot,
Or the pretty words he wrote to assure
You of his adoration of your being;
But a worm in revolt goes unnoticed,
For he can never please his queen,
Although by her he is ever possessed.
Both joy and despair know you are their root,
And you may trample either underfoot.

V.

This witless world always on the advance
Does not feel the dullness of its turning,
Livened only by that rare occurrence
For which we waste our other hours yearning.
Yet when I yearn for you I taste not lust,
Abandonment or dejected envy,
For like a martyr to his God I trust
One fine eve you will appear before me.
With these verses I show my devotion,
Though stood next to you they are not too fair;
Like beads of dew taken from the ocean,
They are mere drops of what I wish to bear.
But lesser passions the years will consume;
And lesser suitors will walk to their doom.

VI.

When I survey the garbled disguises
I have worn over this fleeting sojourn,
Sadness in me suddenly arises
And I am left bewildered and forlorn.
Don the look; I don the look that pleases
Eyes for which I hold the purest disdain,
Yet none deny that this wearing eases
Loveless life: lonely, barren, and mundane.
From you there is nothing I can conceal
Behind facades of bronze, silver or gold;
Naked and bare, I must piously kneel,
And let your desires shape the new mold.
When one of my baser masks offend you,
Remember you know me as one and true.

VII.

Why do I weep with the unheeding winds,
Who care for me only when I imbue
The dreamed wings of a messenger that sends
My hopes and worries faithfully to you?
Why when cloaked in silence do I profess
You can hear the rhythms of my heart-beat,
And in the night when we our minds egress
Tenderly in our dreams our spirits meet?
Why do I kiss your phantom form goodnight,
And insist you are near, holding my arm?
Well, I ask you, does love know what is right
When it knows such knowledge will do it harm?
Let me in my visions continue to feel
What reason would gladly from me steal.

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