A few prefaces to this one:
1: I love the English/Shakespearean sonnet. Writing in this form always feels very natural to me, and I love the balance of having constraints to work with that are still malleable (and familiar) enough to leave room for creativity.
2: I’m a tabletop gamer in addition to a poet, but why view those hobbies as mutually exclusive? The subject of this sonnet (and many secondary references therein) is inspired by a fairly new Role Play Game I recently found called Phoenix: Dawn Command. Many of the poem’s images refer to specific concepts and ideas from the world presented in the game, which brings us to…
3: While I didn’t strictly adhere to NaPo’s suggestion “to write a poem that is a portrait of someone important” to me, I did opt for a portrait of a character that my wife created for Phoenix. The poem incorporates narrative elements unique to the backstory that she created for her character, so it might not be particularly accessible or interesting to the average or uninvested reader — but then, sonnets are often very personal odes or addresses, and this portrait is certainly that for the character (named Redemption), if not for my wife herself (she’s already expressed her approval!)
So whether it means anything to you or not, here’s the draft for my #11:
And the clean cut:
A brother’s blade runs through the twisted knot
of sorrow and betrayal in her chest
that drove her to the bargain that she sought
in zealous dedication to her quest.
She lingered then, in failure and in scorn,
beyond the veil of Dusk she tried to tame
for years, until her soul would be reborn
and cleansed through trials of strength in holy flame.
The sun alights upon another age:
a faceless hero rises in the Dawn
to right the wrongs incited by her rage
and serve the Flame to which her soul was drawn.
Though Bitter is the dying daylight’s face,
Redemption will deliver it to Grace.