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.
I hope that my readers enjoyed NaPoWriMo 2015 as much as I did – it was quite therapeutic. I promised myself I’d keep up with posting afterward, so I wanted to get at least one in by the end of May. Today’s my last chance, so here I am.
Technically I wrote this one in March, but I waited until now to post it because it’s featured in the wedding invitations that my fiancee and I sent out about a week ago: I didn’t think it would be fair to cheat our potential guests of the poem’s first readings by posting it here beforehand. Unfortunately there’s no journal-draft for this one, since I wrote it before April’s project began, so here’s the final draft, featured in our invitations, a sonnet:
As gentle spring invites the faun and fae
to sing and dance around the tree and glen,
so we extend to you this golden May
a plea to reunite our kin and friends:
The year will turn, and as the veil grows thin,
two lives shall lay to rest their former names,
and by their sacred oaths, new life begins
with knotted cords and love’s eternal flame.
Come join with us below the autumn leaves
to gaze upon October’s final light
at five o’clock upon this blessed eve
and feast and dance throughout the hallowed night.
So if you be enchanted by our call,
please do reply, and join our happy hall!
It might help to know that our wedding will actually be a handfasting, fashioned after some ancient Celtic traditions — including a fun Lord of the Rings theme to take full advantage of a Halloween wedding ceremony 🙂
After much time spent with jumbled thoughts and two-and-a-half pages of free-writing, I arrive two days later at another somewhat self-referential poem. But I’m more partial to this one, as it manifested itself as a sonnet, a form which I admire. So Day 23, Poem Twenty-Two:
If muses dance between my thoughts and fly
my bid to trace their movements on the page,
as iris-wings, whose course bespeckles skies
with blinking hues afloat on blissful rays,
elude the nets and jars of greedy Books
whose walls are trimmed in colors bound and still
behind thin glass, affixed by pins and hooks,
I cannot say my heart would wish them ill.
For how could inspiration disagree
with butterflies, whose mercy is the wind,
when both are Beauty’s breath and rightly free
from selfish minds whose zeal would see them pinned?
And so I seek a fair accord of peace
to share their worth by capture and release.
As a note, those two-and-a-fraction pages of unused words will likely make their appearances soon, hopefully somewhat more distilled.