03 May 2014

A Secret Place

If I owned three volcanoes and a flower
I too might escape with a flock of wild birds,
or else, so afraid of eruptions, I'd cower
under the cover of my baobab, say words
to ward off death and draw a friend to share
my lonely life of care and wasting time on herds

of new sprouts. Until one rose appears, spares
my life without beauty by her perfect self. Sweet
at last staves off catastrophe, at once pares
life to essence, time wasted makes it full, replete,
a change in vista complete, what's unseen deletes fear
and allows the eye to see the real not effete,

so death becomes gears stopped, shell dropped, stars near.
"It's such a secret place, the land of tears."*

* The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
In response to Tony Maude's excellent article on Rhyme and Sonnets and his encouragement yesterday to write a sonnet at dVerse Poets Pub. The rhythm is off but it's my attempt at a terza rhyme sonnet. It combines with the prompt by Grapeling at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads the other day accompanied by another excellent article and a word list from a favorite and wise book, The Little Prince. I took the photo in a garden in Paris.


  1. This is superb, Mary, filled with highly memorable lines and you have made the structure work for you, as the sonnet form is not immediately apparent, only subtly felt. I enjoyed this very much.

    1. Thanks, Kerry. I enjoyed re-reading the book and writing this.

  2. Really well done, Mary. I also was struck by the place you created. :-)

  3. I owned three volcanoes and a flower.... how very cool.. i love the little prince...and i really like where you went with this mary... allowing and training the eye to see the real...makes all the big difference in life...

  4. what a cool opening...owning a volcano...smiles...it has been a long time since i read that book....the use of the quote as the last line is so effective too...very well done...

  5. beautiful rose... in a garden... in paris.... -happy sigh-

    i know i'm *supposed* to resonate with the poem...

    but i am captured by the rose... and where you found it...


    1. This blog is a "supposed to" free zone. I'm so pleased you were captured by the rose (as was I). I was walking with my girlfriend and we spotted this garden and were smitten by the roses. This one was my favorite.

  6. Fantastic opening....I wonder what it would be like to own a volcano :) Love your take on the prompt!!

  7. Hi Mary,

    As you say, technically your meter is a bit off for sonnet perfection and I suspect the final word of your first sestet (herdswas chosen for rhyme rather than meaning (cattle, zebra and antelopes come in herds, but sprouts?), but that apart, I really enjoyed this.

    Your first line is brilliant - a real attention-grabber, and proper iambic pentameter too (and boo to anyone who wants to tick you off for beginning with four trochees; the greats frequently began writing iambic verse with one or more trochees to generate momentum for their subsequent lines)

    And now I have to confess to never knowingly having read The Little Prince. Does that make me a bad person?

  8. I happened to browse into the catalog for earlier responses to word lists, and am so glad to have found your pen here, Mary ~ M


Let's chat.