Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Having a go at sonnets

Bird Cage Music

On the lines of a page the composer
transposes the collected melody.
Revenants sounded together from daily life.
Horizontal bars track on, right across
the white, peppered with black bodied birds,
sitting tight on the wires. When they take flight
from the hands of the musician, his breath
shapes their timbre and shadow. He wreathes
sunlight, wind and rain within their soaring,
beyond that shielding white.

And at the close,
those sleek bodies alight again, gripping
to the lines, in their twig-like claws, eye beads
shining within the confines of the page.
Roosting with the breves until the next time.

This has been hanging around for a while. Rob Mac and C.E. Chaffin regularly do Sonnet Sundays and I had thought of giving it a go, but I'm crap at working out whether these lines are making a potential sonnet or not and not very good at sustaining anything for a long time these days!

I can hear it oh so well when it comes to Shakespeare or any other's work for that matter but I can't see it in my own! Try, try and try again, I guess, and keep on trying until it comes without trying was the advice I remember from PFFA, once upon a time. To me it always feels as though I'm trying to fit the words to the form, instead of the form fitting the words. Or have I that arse about face too?

C.E. Chaffin has moved onto villanelles now, which I'm quite interested in. I like the way the repetitiveness piles up an extra meaning within the form, adding another layer to the whole.

But time, time, time, is the problem and when was there ever enough?


skint writer said...

I like it, the imagery, the art and music, the human intervention, the birds

it's loaded and it's good

Anonymous said...

I like it too. The notes will be the same next time, but the music is always unique to the occasion.

There's no rhyme scheme and no discernible metre, but some contempoarary poems of 14 lines share these qualities and call themselves sonnets.

Writing a sonnet is always a struggle though. You will always have to fit words to the form. The trick is making it look as if the form just happened to fit the words.

Who was it - Frost? Auden? - who said that when he read a sonnet, he looked at the rhyming words and could normally tell from them who had won - the poet or the form.

Cailleach said...

Well thanks guys for your kind words.

Rob, maybe it would be simpler and better not to call it a sonnet. In this case nobody won! Except maybe the birds and the music :)

I will keep trying. You're dead right about the metre - as I said it's really hard to hear it in my own work. Far more obvious when I listen to other's.

Guess what I'll be trying to work on! :)

Anonymous said...

It's true for me that conventional form takes longer to write - which doesn't have me leaping at the chance of drowning my time in it.

Still, whatever this is (;-)) I enjoyed the image of those birds perching on those tights wires!

bb said...

you know that wasn't supposed to be an anon comment - it was me!!!! - damn blogger :-(