Poetic Constellations



2016 Poetry Form Challenge

#20 American Sonnet




The American Sonnet was the creation of James Gates Percival (1795-1856)
His sonnets are beautiful productions. Illegitimate in form, they yet show a true conception of what the sonnet ought to be, in tone, general structure, and character of melody. In several cases the poet invented a form of his own, by a novel and a not ineffective disposition of rhymes, as, for example, in the following:-
The Dreaming Soul

O, there are moments when the dreaming soul
Forgets the earth, and wanders far away
Into some region of eternal day,
Where the bright waves in calm and sunshine roll!

Thither it wanders, and has reached a goal;-
The good, the great, the beautiful, are there,
And wreaths of victory crown their flowing hair;
And as they move, such music fills the air
As ne'er from fabled bower or cavern stole.

Soft to the heart it winds, and hushes deep
Its cares and sorrows. Thought then, fancy-free,
Flies on from bliss to bliss, till, finding thee,
It pauses, as the musk-rose charms the bee,
Tranced as in happy dream of magic sleep.

James Gates Percival

As can be seen from the example above, apart from the fact this form of sonnet has 14 lines which were the requirements of the Italian Sonnets, it does not have a tempo of ten syllable lines or the later English requirement of Iambic Pentameter. And why should it, he was an American?
The question I ask is after following the basic rule of 14 lines which pay homage to the Sicilian poet Giacomo da Lentini (1188 - 1240) and the Sicilian School of Court Poetry and why is Iambic pentameter the set meter, not just for English? The Italians speak in a natural rhyming language, as do Spanish and French, but the English don't and it must also be pointed out that the majority of English did not speak with a pentameter manner. So I argue, why should this not be accepted as a true American Sonnet.

From the example of the poem above it has 14 lines as required by a sonnet, but the first stanza is an Envelope rhyming a. b. b. a and the two following stanzas are Envelope Quintet, which rhymes
c. d. d. d. c. . .e. f. f. f. e. or c. d. e. d. c. etc.
Here is another example of that form.

The Seeds Of Time

I wonder, why are you so capricious?
I loved you, you were my favourite toy
Kanga and Wambi always brought me joy,
But you always left me feeling suspicious.
I enjoyed you each time you would allow me to
Almost as if you were bestowing a gift,
But one that came at a very heavy cost
We'd spend time playing, and then you'd shift
And this is the reason why I disavow you.
Suddenly our paths again have crossed
Older, wiser, my toys are not for you
In spite of what you say, there is no us
Too many distractions are in your view
I'm taking my heart back. Sorry! You've lost.

Terry Clitheroe



American Sonnet Challenge Replies



Kathy Anderson

Flip Side - Tailed

Terry Clitheroe

Alone with my Toybox
Barber's Adagio
Clearing Memories
Eternal Fire
Gestimation
Happier Thoughts
Kiss Flavoured
Learn the Truth
Only When
Presence in My Mind
Rhythm of Loves Tune
Una Donna Dei Sogno
Vale
When These Loving Hands
X For the Loser

Noreen Whittaker

Arabian Stallion
Australian Kiltie Warrior
Deepest Yearning
Elfin Wood Hall
Flames of Love
Mystic Moon
Once in a blue moon
Spirit of Love
Unconditional Love
Wistful Dreams



Kathy Anderson

Flip Sides - Tailed

If I knew what the problem was, I'd fly
Into the air to shed the heady fears
Left over from last nights dreamless wet tears
Leaving me wondering, heaving great sighs,
Again the sun will arise cardinal,
Velvet intense colors hued reds and golds,
Magenta to deep ochre, night leaves old,
As old as time, as lifes dark side left cold
Brings coin toss for the light of renewal.
Now know that changes are inevitable,
That everything is two sided, not one,
Though everyone has choices, not all fun,
Funny how the good things are trophies won,
Filling up your shelves of right, enabled,
Or disabling wrongs worst accrual
Sometimes via mitigations like mold
Needing release from old karmic fatals,
All things having their opposing extols.

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Terry Clitheroe

Alone with my Toybox

It's something I did when I was alone,
Cognisant now but never repentant
Aeroplanes and nudes, I would paint
To all intents, by my parents unknown.
I would sketch in a book with a pencil
Before I was taught to write in verse
And too young to know or care about love,
Everyone seemed older which was worse
And refused to allow me in their council.
My parents would leave me in charge
But I didn't go to bed when I said I would
In spite of threats of damage from above.
My use of crayons was well understood
And frustrations and desires would discharge.


Perhaps by that time I'd seen too much strife
And overheard too many conversations
My innocence belying awakening sensations,
My crayons released my feelings about life.
My many coloured crayons, my expression,
Noiseless always as my feelings were birthed
On cartridge paper solid enough to draw on
To hold my feelings, for what they were worth
And many distractions to earn their admiration.
Would you like to join me here in my recall?
Watching the world go by, sit here quick,
Perhaps we can create our own thought pictures
Choose one of my crayons, here take your pick
But not the dark red it's my favourite of all.

-----

Barbers Adagio

Stopping for a while to savour my glass of port
My stomach full, relaxed and my mindsets right
I'm not overly bothered about what, or if I write
There is no pressure or reason for me to exhort.
Relaxing even more as I savour Barbers Adagio,
This music's given me such inspirational write.
Music causes images and encourages ponderance
I don't care if you disagree; I know that I'm right.
One more sip as lovely music plays on my radio
And so much poetry has it dragged out of me.
It's helped me so many times to write and court,
And tell her of my love and desires for us to be.
We must also speak of how desire helps transport
The passion existing ever between me and she.

-----

Clearing Memories

Now silent tears are falling down my face
This place of solitude has so much around
But finally I’m trying to mend my wound
There is no one to understand my place.
I'm opening my toybox after all this time
Those within saw my look and my shame,
They knew of my life, and was not to blame.
So I spoke with, Kanga and Wambi again,
Clearing memories covered in dust and grime.
The beings there were awake somehow
Uncared for, ignored, yet alive and warm.
Yes! aware and alive and still with form
Bringing back memory of a previous norm
We sat and talked and things are alright now.

-----

Eternal Fire

The fire we made last night I see still glows
With time we'll prove it was only a start
And even though for a little while we must part
Will make our way alone through winter's snows.
The fire we made last night will always show
The embers caused an ever burning flame
But those in love need never fear or flee
Commitments made with kiss to life's game
To share and link our souls an eternal vow
The fire we made last night the Gods now know
Need only stir the coals with the fuel and see
How quickly the flames again so soon start
The flames will leap from love of thee and me
Always burn, although sometimes a dull red glow.

-----

Guestimation

All creatures leave the nest this is a fact of life,
Well before maturity sets in, so they will learn.
Treating them as if their whole life is of concern
And keep them weak protecting them from strife.
I hear you criticise me saying I am rude
It is a fact, that tempering requires white heat
And air conditioned protection provides naught
Then leaves them wanting much and incomplete
Leaving us wondering why the world is screwed.
Without morals and values all can be bought
Old fashioned ideas aren't politically correct
But bad manners and rudeness is over rife
I've been there, done that and now I can reflect
The future, wondering, what has this brought?

-----

Happier Thoughts

Drought skies evoke a sense of melancholy
The colours are the browns of Autumn,
Green and such have not been allowed to come,
Because no life has been allowed to play or folly.
Therefore Nature in her desire to grow is stopped
There is black there, from the scorching flames
Set by nature to help procreate, and some by man
Some caused by idiot teenagers playing games,
Mostly reclaiming her rights that man has cropped.
Man is incidental and in the way, and for that
In time he's the one who'll pay the ultimate bill.
The Aboriginals lived in balance with Natures plan
Now Nature must fights against Mammon's will.
Common sense must be used, not mortal combat.

-----

Kiss Flavoured Winds

Kiss flavoured winds are my thoughts
Flesh draped so subtle yet so easy I find
Lips brushing skin, naked in my mind
Giving flesh new form in pastel strokes.
Wind off an ocean whispers and calls
Matching heartbeats with sensing ends,
Guitar strum sounds echoes and mends
Embracing thighs whilst making friends
Movement, touch and sounds enthrals.
Embrace, touch light much loving brought
Wishing to linger in loves hallowed halls
No rules to love except our own protocols
As winds off an ocean whispers and calls
Kiss flavoured winds are my thought.

-----

Learn the Truth

Cover your eyes and really see things
The wind blowing the rain across the window
Looking now with the eyes your ears endow
Leave a feeling become aware what others bring.
Cover your eyes and really touch things
How empty a room is without love there,
And the fullness and warmth of one that has.
The feeling of touching someone who cares
The difference in life twixt winter and spring.
Cover your eyes and really hear things
The silence in a warm summer bower
Mother Earth breathing, warm and content
The dripping of rain after a short shower
Creating puddles and all the rippling's.

-----

Only When

Only when you have kissed Death are you aware
Til then there was uncertainty, and ambivalence!
Hearing the wailing of Death as she starts to prance
Seeing the reaper, sweeping you with his glare.
Seeing her as she points to you and begins to advance
Clad in white gossamer with her arms extended
It's only then you'll know your life has just ended
And all your plans and dreams have been suspended
Calling you to her side you begin your last dance.
Then you will see white wings of Death outspread
Cognisant what was stolen long ago is there
Now knowing that your life can never be the same.
And to have life given back you really care
For life only starts when you accept your dead.

-----

Presence in my Mind

You have become a presence in my mind.
I do not like it, no longer is my mind free
Instead, waking time is with thoughts thee
Thoughts once controlled and simple kind.
In my minds eye I see you everywhere
Each waking moment steals all my time
Someone to me who's become sublime
My thoughts are with you on loves climb
Those thoughts so different to what was there
Now wander off in space, to leave me blind
Thinking about something's that could just be
I uniting our souls our love is forever free,
Of the future, of love and of you and me
The way our souls around each other wind.

-----

Rhythm of Loves Tune

To the rhythm of loves tune spin and turn
Inside your heartbeat skips and pounds
Your eternal love forever resounds
And the fever of love causes you to burn.
Then whilst apart your innards churn
For bodies touching in nightly rounds
For any music that brings your love back
To a sensuous tempo of loving sounds
With your lovers steps so quickly learnt.
Each night to loves dancing we return
Earthly bodies lie on silken grounds
We all win when dancing to loves tune.
In a ballroom fit for loving rounds
With souls locked in a heavenly sojourn.

-----

Una Donna dei Sogno

Picking wild flowers as she strolls
Walking along by green forested walls
Through the hills where bell bird calls
By fields and streams and waterfalls
Lit by shafts of golden sunbeams
Strolling slowly sniffs the flowers
Whiles away the waiting hours
Remembering times in moonlit bowers
You are the woman of my dreams.
Thus she wanders each and every day
Waiting for the man that's in the Argonne
There'll be no more spending nights alone
Now realising how lonely she has grown
And on returning she knows he will stay.

-----

Vale..(It is worth)

When we parted we knew that things were fine
Your lips are the only ones I want to know.
Memories that will last through winter's snow
As I savour once again our summer wine.
Your taste is the one I will crave all my life,
But apart at present by many miles and lands
Though still together in our soul and minds
Then there is Skype and others, they are grand
We can speak and see, avoiding most of strife.
As I drove, Autumn showed itself to me today
Already the tourists have left and prices fallen
And Winter is threatening with colder winds
Red and brown leaves all over look crestfallen
With time Spring will come with her new ballet.

-----

When These Loving Hands

These loving hands that held you so close to me
Are no longer in use because I am far from you.
In absence think of you, but with a different view
It's so very different from what I shared with thee.
The room is nice but missing what is essential
There are people coming in and out all the time
Nice, who spoil me, but it's you I want to be with
Since it is only with you that I feel really sublime
Because time with you is my basic, a fundamental.
Filling days with you, making dreams meaningful
Knowing only too well that you are eternally mine
Hearing the rapturous thunder that you easily give
Later the silence that we've created so easy, so fine
The love, the ecstasy, the feeling our life's never dull.

-----

X for the loser

How can my heart be trusted again?
Too easy I gave it and now its back
It once was red but now it's black
Like it's been dragged along a dirty plain.
The memories I hope time will erase
But times were good, you gave me hope
I suddenly thought how well we coped
Those sugared words, made me a dope
I realise now you were just a craze.
The spoils of war are now there at your feet
It never was love I realise that now
Or even lust, reluctantly I would allow
None of those I realised, your just shallow
I finally must admit you have me beat.

-----

Zero Promises

Who has not enjoyed the midnight sky
Breathing freely in it's warm springtime air
And felt free wind blow through their hair?
With the full silvered moon smiling on high.
Who's not revelled under the midnight sky
Listening, entranced by the singing stars
And flapping shadows cast by sleeping galahs?
The moon in Venus lighting the morn is ours
Creating a magic winds with a silken sigh
Had not feelings like was possessed of flight
Been entranced by looking at stars on high
Having feelings aroused, becoming aware
That to be without you I would rather die
Those feelings aroused are always right.

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Noreen Whittaker

Arabian Stallion

In Arabia's far off foreign lands,
Not a finer horse has ever been bred,
Beautiful form, with a fine held head,
A beauty to behold on the desert sands.
Gracious albino, prince of steeds.
Strong arched neck, tail held high,
Bred for intelligence, sound of mind,
Flared nostrils, and keen dark eyes,
Never beaten for valour, and speed.
Fiery and yet as gentle as a lamb
Sure footed, never to lose his stance
A nicer mount, would be hard to find
Loves to frolic, free spirits enhance,
Borne from womb of a chosen dam.

-----

Australian Kiltie Warrior

Whilst in Australia ye, my bonnie wee lad,
Proudly wore yer kilt, wi' a lass in yer arms
Twas of Australian tartan frae Scottish farms,
With a sporren oot front, tae hide all ye had,
There wisnae a finer laird, in all O' ozzy land,
In war ye fought wi yer claymore and shield
Your coat full o' medals pinned tae yer chest,
Wi valiant courage in Australias battle field
Havin' a lilt tae yer kilt, in a Scots guard band,
Thee tartan clad soldier wi' valour an` zest
A braver warrior, wouldst be hard put tae find,
And tack it frae me, you are wan O` the best,
Ye Kilty Australasian yer just wan O' a kind,
Proudly wearin' yer kilt pinned tae yer vest.

-----

Deepest Yearning

Canst this be love, betwixt thou and I,
Which makes me yearn, for thee each day
Whilst love forever, shalt be ours I pray,
Gives feelings of a warming sun in the sky,
Doth thou not see love, deep in mine eyes,
When I glance at thou thy dearest one
So thus my dear, it is for us both to share.
I see much love, warmth, laughter, and fun
Which portrays truth and telleth no lies.
For I doth count the hours, when I shalt be,
To love thee every day, that little bit more,
And I for thee, shalt forever be there,
More than ever, than I hath loved before
Locked close in thy embrace, alone with thee.

-----

Elfin Wood Hall

There is a party tonight, down at Elfin Wood Hall
To celebrate the events of this New Years Eve,
Thro' sweet wild brambles, by snow covered leaves,
Just knock twice at the door, when you come to call.
There is lots of red berries, and loads of nuts,
With some Crab apple cider, to wash it all down.
Just bring a large flagon, and a lump of coal,
Wild life that dwell on the edge of the town
Shall indulge, from the shiniest, of wild acorn cups.
There's a welcome for sure at Elfin Wood Hall,
Just knock the door, to come in from the cold,
By the bunch of wild leaves of burnished gold
Two rabbits, and a mole, hopped into the fold
This New years Eve they are having a ball.

-----

Flames of Love

Love is a flame within our heart
How true this love, it does enfold
These acts of passions to behold
To keep alight would be an art.
Fleeting glances, my eyes met thine,
I smoulder unto thy cherished arms
Why ever then, doth my heart ache so,
Infatuated by your masculine charms,
Warm embraces, as lips brushed mine.
Close affection, we must not ignore.
These feelings are so deep inside,
Your love is sincere, thus I know,
Love in our eyes, just cannot hide,
This flame shall flicker for evermore.

-----

Mystic Moon

Spiritual fantasies. by shadow of a blue moon,
High Priestess chants rituals, 'neath moons light
Beckoned spirits of love, to enter this night,
In a magical, tempting, rhythmic, bardic tune.
She hath sensual, powers with her pagan chant,
Luring, enticing, souls of lovers to arise,
In mystified daze, she chanted and danced
'Neath this mystic moon, from the darkened skies,
A blue moon, holds this power, to enchant,
Entwined once again, through a spiritual trance
Awaiting visions, of her lost love`s desire,
Here on earth, with visions of love enhanced.
From eternal magic flames, shalt then conspire,
Her lover hath returned, for eternal romance.

-----

Once in a blue moon

Ancient times of myths, mystic moons, and folklore,
When the moon ruled, the ebb and flow of seas,
Like today in strong winds, or vibrant breeze,
With strong currents, that stir the deep sea floor.
Once, and only once, when this moon shaded blue,
Strange things happen, in void of the deep,
Visions of fantasy, in our mind they may bloom,
And high the tides rise with an internal sweep,
Mystical happenings, under blue waters construe.
From deep murky waters, in darkness and gloom,
Lost Cities arise, and take place on the shoreline,
Shipwrecks surface, set sail, covered in grime,
Eaten with rust, from the salt sea and brine,
And then, only then, 'neath a shaded blue moon.

-----

Spirits of Love

How do we knoweth if this, our love, shalt be true,
Hast there not been a moment, we both hath known,
With the passing of time, these feelings hast grown,
Incarnate spirits, once again, hast returned anew.
A love which hast been proven thro' tests of time,
With a passion that hast lingered on thro' the ages
But true love, shalt ne'er, have cruel words spoken
Returned once again, to restore, thy olde pages
Of love thro` the past, 'tis back to now, in it's prime.
But to givest and taketh, to comfort and soothe,
Thy words art kinder, thus to be said unprovoken,
Passionate love with feeling, shalt be softspoken,
So thus, thy circle of love, shalt ne`er be broken
For a love that is true, shall ne'er runneth smoothe.

-----

Unconditional Love

It is there, in the depth of her heart,
A love that cannot ever be erased
For her, he could never be replaced,
Their devotion should never be apart
She just has to be with him this way,
Within her eyes love shines through
Craving only his undivided attention
It is he, she shall be submissive to,
It his he, she shall honour and obey.
Both now sharing this mutual affection
Always caring, for each others needs
This close affinity they have proceeds,
This close affection forever succeeds
It was in the beginning, the same today.

-----

Wistful Dreams

Feeling a chill from large flakes of snow
Gently floating on down from the sky
Seagulls swoop down, so loudly they cry
This most enchanting, and mystical flow.
That's glistening beyond the river bed
The maiden awaits a true lovers arms,
Inland, from the sea shore to be fed
Longing for all his endearing charms,
She fastens up tight her cloak of red.
Now visions pictured like an open book,
Her lover appears by the turn of a page,
Feeling a chill from large flakes of snow
The maiden awaits her true lovers arms.
With misted eyes, sharing a loving look.

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