Sonnet I


January 5, 2019 by petrujviljoen

sp 7 aug copy (2)

Copyright Petru J Viljoen

often do I feel guilt when I needn’t to
even when I’ve spoken out of line
there’s always so much repairing to do
trying so hard to make each one feel fine

the world and its people, a fragile place
similar predicaments, differently
all the problems all and all has to face
not a one who’s not unnerved, presently

some mindless suffering seem so absurd
you’d think there’d be relief, a small kindness
but we’d rather make sure truth is deferred
live as if not afflicted by blindness

from a distance, obliquely, some support
a common ground, too few of us on board

My very first sonnet ever, A Shakespearian one I believe.

Linked to Dverse Poets

49 thoughts on “Sonnet I

  1. memadtwo says:

    I’m a bit late to reading this, but what strikes me most strongly is the emotion in the words. Maybe because I’ve been thinking a lot about these issues myself. I also want to echo Claudia about the artwork…wonderful layers of meaning as well. (K)

  2. Alexander De says:

    Totally on board with this sonnet. I think it flows like a great river – smooth but deep.

  3. Jules says:

    I like the message. Sonnets though are low on my poetic ability scale. 🙂

  4. Sabio Lantz says:

    I really enjoyed the theme and what you were trying to say, but could read a little smoother.

  5. susanmehr says:

    Beautiful, this is the first sonnet I’ve read. Touches the heart.

  6. Excellent poem.
    This guy in America can’t comment much on the form as he’s no education there. But the poem, when spoken—a capella, ignoring punctuation—not read, the form doesn’t get in the way of the content. Good!
    No need to feel guilty, no repairing necessary. Absurd suffering and deferred truth is life and not your fault. But you are right; some support, some common ground, some small kindnesses would be nice.
    Read somewhere that as you get older, the others around you start paying less attention to you. So that unless you are very rich or charismatic you will become eventually become invisible to them.
    Seems so, and no fix for this, I’m afraid. ‘cept perhaps to go with it; laugh at them picking their noses—and worse!—because they think no one is around. (Record it and call it art?) A small kindness, this, not the world and its people, they/we are too selfish, but from that old devil time.
    Nice art too. The making of prose/words into art, like poetry does—overwriting new meanings on old—is good. Solid composition and (if photoshopped) good use of layers, modes and effects, A+.

    • Yes, photoshopped. Thanks for the compliment on it. Want to print this one out. There’s a part of me that would like a cloak of invisibility! Of complete solitude. Then there’s the part that still needs … 🙂 Thanks Howard!

  7. I think for a first sonnet you have made a great leap into shaping the form. For me it is the meaning that is most important and you convey that and turn on it. I think Bjorn’s comment on stressed and unstressed syllables might help but reading it out loud and hearing it read to you might help if a line doesn’t scan as well as it could. Guess it is about sounding right on the inner and outer ear. I did a sonnet some time back for Dverse and had a comment about it not always scanning right. Will look it up to reshape and think it will be to do with stress!

    • Sonnet – a little song – can be a lament too! Thanks, the support for this first effort has been amazing and gave me the confidence to carry on. Luckily I’m used to counting syllables from writing haiku so it doesn’t feel weird to do so.

      • Yes, that’s great but it’s the stress and unstressed syllables that make it scan well. Di dum di dum di dum di dum di dum ! I think I will find some sonnets to listen too as well. Think in those Shakespearean days they may have been read out?

  8. This is an excellent first try… one think that you can think about is that if use feminine rhymes (ending on an unstressed syllable) the line should have eleven syllables to make sure that you get the five beats of pentameter…

    I generally try to avoid starting with stressed syllables but if I do it would be the same thing… focus shall be on the five stressed syllables.

    The poem is great in content and the volta building up the true lament of being to few.

  9. merrildsmith says:

    Sonnets are so difficult!
    Your words ring true about so much sadness and “too few on board.”
    Your artwork is perfect for this.

  10. The first one is hard…but they don’t get any easier 🙂 Such a sadly appropriate theme for this new year. Plus ça change…

    • Jane, won’t you please say something about the meter and the rhyming of this sonnet?

      • I’m no expert, but to my ear, the rhyme and the rhythm seem mostly fine. Occasionally the stress doesn’t fall in such a way that the rhythm carries on the same as the previous line, like:

        some mindless suffering seem so absurd
        you’d think there’d be relief, a small kindness

        The first line sticks strictly to the meter and the stresses all fall in the right place, but the second line is different, same number of syllables, but when you say it, the rhythm changes.
        A lot depends on pronunciation so it’s hard to judge, but you can usually fiddle around with the words to get the stress to fall in the same place as the rest of the poem. You hear the difference.

  11. Nan Mykel says:

    Congratulations, Petru!! You seem to be growing on every front.

  12. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice line: “trying so hard to make each one feel fine” This is hard to do. Perhaps as hard as forgiving ourselves when we don’t.

  13. rob kistner says:

    Man, this rings loud and clear Petru. Do much division and divisiveness. Open lying, verbal cruelty. Sad! I liked this. Touched a nerve for me…

  14. I am impressed. By all of it but especially the first stanza. And it’s my turn to admire the artwork. So rich and mysterious. With those hidden half-seen words…

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