the poetry project: sonnet

Francesco Petrarch refined the earliest Sicilian sonnet forms of two fused quatrains and two fused tercets into an ababcdcd-efefgg rhyme scheme, with 10 syllables per line, and defined sonnet writing for more than two centuries. Sir Thomas Wyatt brought it to England, but William Shakespeare shepherded the Petrarchan form into the limelight.

And now, several hundred years later, I shall try my hand at the form – much to the dismay of good poets through the ages. (Don’t worry, though: it’s the last day of September, so this is the crowning achievement, aka the final episode, of the poetry project.)

Deepest Sweetness

A Sonnet by JLB

On the threshold of my life I stood

Gazing in at people, places, things

All that in my history is good

Echoed in me as a bell that rings.

I watched as friends and family shared a meal;

Laughing, smiling, savoring the hour

Their conversation rich as it was real

And joy on every face; not one was dour.

I turned my head and saw a scroll unfold

With pictures of the places I have gone

Of summers ripe and warm and winters cold

Of Europe’s ancient cities and my lawn.

I cross the threshold to my life once more

In awe of deepest sweetness at its core.


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