“When Violence Flash Flares” (Petrarchan Style)

When Violence Flash Flares

When violence flash flares with red-black spark
and men can only see through teeth and blur,
their skin bit-bristling like claw-sharpened fur
that seeks the carve of scar as truest mark,
that bites the curve from every moment’s arc,
as if time’s belly something to regur–
gitate and spit again–again–a lure
to not make lush, but tear instead to stark–

Then, oh, what can be done to stop the woe?
Reconstitute the mob as one and one?
That he, who likes to brush, with rueful care,
his child’s hair from the cowlick that will grow
upon her crown, and that lost mother’s son
who hums remembered songs in twilit air.


Agh!  I am posting the above would-be Petrarchan sonnet for dVerse Poets Pub sonnets prompt, hosted by Gay Cannon.  I’ve written lots of sonnets – usually of the Shakespearean or Spenserian rhyme schemes (wonderfully explained by Gay.)  This is my first serious try with the Petrarchan.  I’ll say it again – agh!   I’m not sure I like the rhyme scheme which in this case is abba abba cde cde–it feels like the rhymes are a bit diffused.  But there it is.   Check out dVerse for Gay’s article and what I’m sure will be wonderful examples.  Also, if you’ve a chance, check out my books!  Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (for slightly more polished sonnets);  1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.  Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!

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25 Comments on ““When Violence Flash Flares” (Petrarchan Style)”

  1. claudia Says:

    hey….are you working night shift..? smiles… i’m reading now..just wanted to say hello…smiles

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes – you are probably into tomorrow! I have written sonnets in the past but not this kind and I traveled tonight too — all kind of crazy – oh well! Thanks for stopping by. k.

  2. claudia Says:

    the Petrarchan sonnet is my fav of all the sonnet forms and dang..you chose a hard topic for yours but it works well…starting the volta with a question is a good idea and makes for an effective change of tone…i like…and now go and sleep…smiles

  3. beckykilsby Says:

    The textures and sounds of the octave are wonderful at delivering abrasion.. so the volta is strongly felt. I linked an old one, but feel inspired to try a new one now.. thanks!

  4. Difficult subject with a playful use of the form. One of the criticism of this form is that it assumes Italian word sounds which doesn’t always translate to the English language. But for difficulty try a Pushkin sonnet!

  5. PoetJanstie Says:

    Whether you like it or not, it is a damned good sonnet and story. Brave to vary from your favoured form (I love the Shakespearean form best, probably because of the way the rhyme scheme works and so much because of the power of a rhyming couplet ending).

  6. David King Says:

    Fantastic couplet with which to end. You seem to be developing a penchant for this. The rest of the poem so free and delightful. Great poem.

  7. brian miller Says:

    wow. i humbly bow k….love the question you ponder in it as well…really nice turn…the last bit is my fav but the set up of it is great…tight….

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Well, thanks, Brian. I was kind of kicking myself last night for not just using something old, but I like to try to do fresh things and this has been on my mind. You’d probably like the more political one- maybe put up sometime. k.

  8. Your language leaps and bites, excellently played! I like the breakup of regurgitate, it felt appropriate and am excited you gave us a new post!

  9. hedgewitch Says:

    It’s amazing what comes out when you challenge yourself–I think that the rhyme scheme and meter here feels tense, apprehensive (not forced) and totally fits the subject matter–very original and modern phrasing and technique renovate this dusty form and make it shine as a vehicle for the rhetoric, which I doubt free verse could do as well. Good for you for taking the plunge/risk.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. Agreed. It’s funny with the pentameter though – there are lines that I think were better shorter – like the last of the 8 which I think was better without the “instead” – and “shear” instead of “tear” (but got too complicated with instead) – but that seemed too short and I wanted to stick to exercise. I’m not sure I count feet right as I go with syllables often, and there may be some one-syllable feet that work – I don’t know. I find iambs difficult – on the one hand, they are the most natural feet, but sometimes I think you have to go with ear more than count –

  10. janehewey Says:

    You met the challenge brilliantly. This subject matter is dense; you treat it with deft care and clarity. “that bites the curve from every moment’s arc” is a stunning line. by the time it arrives, your volta is welcomed and clear. a fantastic write, Karin.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      You are very kind, Jane. I liked the moment’s arc line too, and time’s belly – which were all a product of having to comply with the rhyme scheme – hard to come up with rhymes for park! (Ha.) k.

  11. Luke Prater Says:

    I’m so glad Gay taught sonnets.. she asked me to do it but I couldn’t in the end with everything I’m dealing with… your meter is great here… it’s so enjoyable to be seeing iambic pentameter on blogs. Super work

  12. I agree with Jane and Joy – it’s a brilliant, novel and forceful sonnet pretty much to my mind perfectly realized. I love the turn which makes the poem that much more powerful. You put yourself into it, and you produced something spectacular. Bravo and really well done!

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