~Sonnets II~

Submitted by Hannah D. on Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:33

Legion of Honor
It's wrapped in coastal winds and cypress trees,
  With lions guarding entrance to the court.
  Inside, they serve up tea and apricot tarts,
Between glass clad in mist from neighboring seas.
Degas' love of Parisian millinery
  Ripples among the walls of light and dark:
  Illuminated portraits, girls in sharp
Well-flowered, feathered hats in velvet sheen.
Around the corner, see a more ancient hall:
  An ibis-headed man in frozen gait,
Cartouche and hieroglyphics on a wall,
  And bluish scarab from a mummy's grave.
Now listen: hear the echoes of a call;
  Remaining heartbeats of each distant age.

In The Trees
We wandered through the forest while the day
  Was just beginning to send the sun to sleep.
  The woods were thin, with meadows; the trails were steep,
Buckbrush and thorny bramble lining the way.
The colors of field flowers broke the gray
  Of oak trunks and sticky thickets, with a peep
  From starthistles' yellow finches. Then the creep
Of dusk, announced by all the chorus frogs, came.
Springtime in the chaparral passes quick,
  Rushed out by sun, and slow to follow snow.
But it was then we found the sea of white,
  The apricot petals, falling. Long ago
That tree must have been planted, to be picked;
  Some braved the wilderness, then made a home.

Author's age when written


The rhythm was satisfactory; but even more, I loved the words you used and how you described things. I think I liked the first one because it was very sharp--I'm not quite sure if that's the word I'm looking for, but it had distinction, description, and life in it. It was fun to read aloud.

I once read an 18th century writer say that English people always complain that they're having a cold summer because their poets have described summer to them in the tradition of the Greek poets -- thus disappointment. I like how these are distinctly Californian (I guess the second could also be Nevadan) with local pictures instead of borrowed tropes from Europe.

In the first one were you thinking of a connection between 19th century French women putting bird-feathers on their heads and ancient Egyptians putting feathery bird-heads on their men?

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

I absolutely love the first one- it feels so proper and is as crystal clear as if I really experienced these!

Introverts unite!
From the comfort of your own homes!

These are bith very lovely, but I especially appreciated In the Trees. I always get excited when I see that you've posted sonnets. Beautiful, as always. :)

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

Thank you! Ya'll are too kind. :)

To Caleb - sure, we'll say that was an intended connection. I was thinking something along the lines of - symbols of wealth/power/high society in both cultures turning into artifacts of the past, but yours seems to work as well. :P