Posted tagged ‘sonnet variation’

Subway Sonnet – Train Chemistry – Light That Cannot Be Broken Down For Parts

September 23, 2009

Molecules (poem by Karin Gustafson, drawing by Diana Barco)

I updated this post for the dVerse Poets Pub prompt for poems about trains and am also linking to Victoria C. Slotto’s blog liv2write2day relating to poems about light.     This poem is not a new one, but it was written on and prompted by the subway on a Monday, thinking about a beautifully sunny Sunday before.

This is a sonnet, a variation of the regular form 14 1/2 lines rather than the requisite 14.   I added the extra couple of words at the end to combat that “patness” that sometimes results from a sonnet’s final couplet.


Yesterday in the dim fluorescence
of subway car, I thought of molecules.
They seemed, in that greyed light, the essence
of life.  I saw them stretched in pools,
sometimes seemingly limpid, other times
volcanic, fervidly swooping me
abubble, then mucking me into slimes
of laval woe, a test tube of to be
or not to be.  Today, I’m by the sea,
and water, vaster than pools, sparkles
under light so immense it cannot be
broken down for parts, yet its particles
raise up the non-molecular part
of me, what refuses to lose heart,
no matter–

(All rights reserved.  Karin Gustafson)

(The drawing above is by my dear friend Diana Barco, who illustrated my book of poetry called “Going on Somewhere,” available on Amazon.)

Check out 1 Mississippi at link above also.