Inspired by a published sonnet

My writers’ group did a session on published sonnets and we were encouraged to write our own. Having recently lost my husband, I was very struck by the Milton sonnet on the topic On her departed husband

with acknowledgement to John Milton


I thought you came to me on the heels of the night

Between the times of sleeping and waking,

At the pearl-grey hour between dark and light;

And in that lacuna you, forsaking

All else, appeared by my side once more.

That look: merry brown eyes, moustache of grey,

Quiet smile: a touch on my arm to say,

‘Look, it’s all so much better than before,

And see the new cross and chain they gave me.’

And I looked: the old design but so much more,

Silver and brown, much finer tracery.

‘You didn’t go after all!’ Struck to the core,

I started towards you, my arms outstretched.

You go, I wake, back to my lacuna fetched.   

© Shanachy 2020
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To my mind this is not a sonnet and coincidentally there was a conversation much along these lines recently on the site; it’s here if you have time to take a look: As well as one of the standard rhyming patterns (Shakespearean or Petrarchan) the rhythm is also important – iambic pentameter which is short-long x 5 (or – / – / – / – / – / ). You have rhyme here but not the rhythm. Like Gothicman I feel that this might have been better let loose into free verse because the content is powerful. Thanks for… Read more »

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