Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Dark Sonnets

I don't feel very verbal but these sonnets leak out of me. I can't judge their worth for two reasons; I'm depressed and I'm the author. Think of them as therapy. No one could do a dark sonnet better than Gerard Manley Hopkins. I'm just toddling in his wake.


Put down the knife, Lady, the candle’s done.
You could not see to strike. Where is the blood?
It’s in your mind. Violence is outdone
By guilt’s black bile trickling where you stood.
Queen Melancholy with your steel-blue blade,
Whom did you try to murder but myself?
You’d add another trophy to your shelf.
But I resist. I will not be unmade.
“Depression” sounds as common as a cold.
Its remedies are legion as the dirt.
The soul-killer is worse than we were told;
Its black advance outflanks the deepest hurt.
Still I’d rather swallow pills in hope
Than to change my necktie for a rope.


Hopkins said it best, “No worst there is none.”
But isn’t it hubristic to declare
That one has reached the limit of despair
As in a total eclipse of the sun?
In that event a wild corona glows
Around the edges of the blackened moon,
A fiery nimbus that as yet allows
More than pure darkness in the afternoon.
What if there is a worst? How will you deal
If what despair you’ve reached is christened hell
Before the devil gets in his appeal
To drag you down to regions still more fell?
It’s premature to label something worst
Unless the Lord himself pronounce you cursed.


Ah suicide, your beauty exceeds all,
A blinding gown, a face so lightly veiled
That I can see your black glass eyes enthrall
An unsuspecting mark until inhaled.
Your hands, so fine, as if made for the harp
Cannot be clasped without making an end.
You strum a dirge irreverently sharp
Designed to cut deeper than we can mend,
Sharp as addiction or the death of love,
Hard as affliction, colder than hate’s hold.
The sickest kneel to you as if to move
Your soul to pity and die as they grow bold.
I hold back; beauty is as beauty does.
Why not give in? I only know “because.”

5 Kilorats,


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