For ViV: A Sonnet

10 May

Many of you will have followed through the years, ViV’s challenge to me to write a full-blown, honest-to-God sonnet. As she often told me: ‘… please don’t think you can get away with calling them sonnets, even if you stretch the definition as a ‘modern’ sonnet. Fourteen lines do not a sonnet make nor four lines a volta. It is absolutely NO use counting syllables. You must count only the stresses, otherwise the rhythm simply doesn’t work.’

Yes, it has taken me this long, and even so I wait until ViV pronounces whether I may, in fact, term this as such. It started as an Elizabethan in structure and shifted into an Italian. Untitled, as yet.


What is the thing that passes in the night,
that as I tread the side-walks of behind,
hides something that I wish but cannot find,
the shadow I connect with out of sight?
When day arrives and I let in the light
— on looking I can see that out of mind
means only you have kept me undefined —
I pause to see myself again in flight.
I must not walk old ways but look my fill
then move ahead, where life is not askew;
forget old heartbreaks, all that was untrue,
and dream of when my fate is my free will.
Yet, when I think all old is made anew,
I find the doors I shut are open still.


ViV, any critiquing appreciated. I do know it needs revising, but figured if I didn’t post, I could revise forever.


Posted by on 10/05/2014 in poems, poetry


Tags: , , ,

18 responses to “For ViV: A Sonnet

  1. Hannah Gosselin

    10/05/2014 at 1:55 pm

    Wow…this touches upon transcendence of time speaks to me of the innumerable possibilities within the countless choices…this is truly thought provoking, Margo.


    10/05/2014 at 3:29 pm

    Margo, I salute you. I may have had to wait a year or two, but you came up trumps in the end. Metre: impeccable. Rhyme scheme: ditto. 6 line volta ditto. I’m not sure about “the sidewalks of behind” – behind what?
    Thank you for taking my challenge so well!

    • margo roby

      10/05/2014 at 4:00 pm

      Whew! You would not believe how that thrown gauntlet dogged my days! Now what?

      The ‘behind’ while I like it, I know is a problem. It refers to everything behind the speaker in her life, up to that moment. I’ll make a big note that I need to look into that area.

      I have loved having this hanging over me. Truly. My days lie empty before me.


  3. sonjajohanson10

    10/05/2014 at 8:49 pm

    You nailed the form Margo – kudos.

    • margo roby

      11/05/2014 at 9:22 am

      Thanks, Sonja. Now, I can happily leave it and play with the Fibonacci version, which I really liked, as well as the one word per line sonnet.

  4. Misky

    12/05/2014 at 7:35 am

    I love this. I ve read it many times during the past days, and it reads well every time.

    • margo roby

      12/05/2014 at 9:02 am

      Thank you, Misk. When it started happening I followed it!

  5. rosross

    13/05/2014 at 6:54 am

    I am not sure why but I am still not getting notifications. Sigh.

    • margo roby

      13/05/2014 at 7:28 am

      Hmmm. That is a nuisance, Ros. Just for this blog? What have you tried so far?

  6. rosross

    13/05/2014 at 6:54 am

    Nicely done Margo.

  7. whimsygizmo

    17/05/2014 at 12:55 pm

    Gorgeous, Margo. 🙂


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