Here are two sonnets I posted earlier today to Facebook. I like them. They were written over forty years ago, when I was a graduate student. I told myself that winter that I would try out the sonnet. I saved ten of the twenty two I drafted and then kept four. These are two.
From WINTER SONNETS
I have not walked on whiter days
Nor felt the sun’s ice-blue presence so
As on this day. Winter, as though
To claim dominion, lays
Too firm fingers on my soul
And all his nature’s strength
Invades my world; the length
And depth of myself feels cold
And memory whispers images of past
Warnings, how winter’s gentle alarms
Sighed disaster, the cool arms
Of his messenger taking me at last.
How quiet a turn–the sun’s pale presence after winter rain,
The sharpening of summer loves into winter’s pain.
Winter dusk, in waves of grey despair,
Engulfs the world. White ices grown brown
And dead give off muddy clouds in the heavy air;
Black trees, dried grasses all broken down
Around themselves, an evergreen
Turns rusting red along its tips.
Back down cold hostile alleys once clean,
Now ragged with the husks of frozen rotted scraps, slip
Thin yellow ugly dogs with half-icy sores.
Their bleeding feet leave sign for other beasts
That come on winter nights to sniff such spoor,
To lick the rotting ice, to feast.
We cling at this late hour to the myth of day
But fear that winter’s night will have the final say.