Hope Deferred Maketh Something Sick

I was out early one morning driving when I turned onto a northbound road that cut for miles through vast cattle pastures with random groves of trees. The moment I turned the song on the radio was crescendoing, and the way the sky presented itself with such delicate splendor and glorious lack of self-restraint, the sun just waking to my right, the moon just retiring to my left, the scarlet thunderheads mounting before me, pulled from me a spontaneous cheer and a shiver. It was a spiritual ecstasy of which I immediately felt ashamed and tried to suppress. This is a strange tendency of mine. Here is a sonnet I wrote concerning the matter.

The sun and moon hung opposite this morning
from one another across a blood orange sky
like weights in scales balanced against the earth:
the great Triumvriate! . . . urged me to die.

Then trees and fenceposts and a straying bull
thrust through a haze that overspread the ground
impressed me more than metaphorically
that worlds behind worlds manifold abound.

If mists and fogs are veils we cannot lift
with unaccustomed hands to vaporous tasks
nevertheless conception does not cease,
but minds the pause, then gnaws and wrecks its masks.

Yet this is vain. Why forsake shores for seas?
You’ll find nothing but poison seeking peace.

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~ by Peter on April 12, 2008.

6 Responses to “Hope Deferred Maketh Something Sick”

  1. This is delicate and lovely and melancholy…… “that worlds behind worlds manifold abound”, beautiful, sends my mind spinning.

  2. ah, the internal conflict transposed upon the perception. the damnation of the self critic, the ever screaming voice from deep wells and dark nights, echoeing about the silence regions of hope.

  3. A beautiful sonnet… haunting and full. Superb…

  4. Ciao, il tuo blog mi piace proprio molto a prima vista…ci sono appena arrivato da un tuo commento su un post “la poesia italiana fa schifo”- devo dire che la tua idea della cipolla è affascinante =) ora mi leggo un po di cose che scrivi.

  5. It’s difficult to grasp obviously with intent given its fade into smokey greys and the reader needs to concentrate through some mazy sounding consonants but they hold over the rhythm cos of the rhyme, but it ends pretty dark like your trying to strangle the last bit of hope out of it on purpose, i am not sure that is why it has taken my poor brain so long to get to it, but i’m sure its a deficit of my linear intelligence and not your writing,

  6. Hey Paul, could this be criticism? Haha, I like it! Please don’t mistake my bad writing as some fabled “deficit of linear intelligence” of yours — since instead I believe you have hit the nail on the head with this one: there are indeed some missing steps in the progression from A (misty morning) to B (cloudy pessimism) and apparently I thought I could clog that absence with the density of my consonants. In the end I like my intro to this poem better than the poem.

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