Ephemeral Constant

With hued music, beautified page.
His spheres were thinner than gossamer,
Only to beauty, did Keats defer.
Was omni-sensory, ahead of his age,

Gifted synesthete; few could gauge.
Lines between realities could he blur,
With Psyche, or nightingale easily confer.
Complex were stanzas, of youthful sage.

‘Cockney’ image chose not to whitewash,
Malicious opponents, he couldn’t squash.
In stanzas and metre, he tossed and turned,
Scansion and rhyme by himself learned.
As he blew bubbles more fragile than glass,
His mind soared high, over gravity or mass.


Carved Consonants

Would last tiny tracks of his race insane?
Glyphs on papyrus, tenacious marks,
Would fold in grooves of globe’s crusty brain?
In minds would any inspiration spark,

Though could only play a quarter of his flute?
Would humans ever hum with nature apace?
Would man raise his head from steel’s pursuit?
Stop distorting earth’s ever-green face?

Would they forget all thoughts, or desires felt?
Expand their consciousness, touch the sky;
Connect with their core, in cosmos melt,
Just become one with earth’s nuclei.
Perhaps just a few would hear his refrain,
Perhaps one or two would eternity attain.



Juggling germs, compassion’s lack,
Osmosis of senses with mind, had a knack.
Had to over-write hard glass of sand,
Navigate blockades by the Moirae planned.

Knocked by blows from critics and kin,
Eagerly, ardently, with purse thin,
Against dark vortexes, managed to strive,
To make Hellas sing, old urns come alive.

Survived crushing blows, in blacks and blues,
Lived on scraps, though had rich muse.
Interred under odds that proved too great,
Visions helped stave sick misery’s weight.

Elegant verses spiralled off page,
Sonnets, odes cryptic; can’t fully gauge.


Of Indian origin, Sultana Raza has an M.A. in English Literature. Her articles and fiction have appeared in numerous publications in English and French. Sultana Raza’s poems have been published in many journals, including London Grip (UK), Literary Gazette(USA), Caduceus (Ed. Yale University, USA), , the Peter Roe Series, (Tolkien Society UK), Muse India, andThe New Verse News, Catch and Release (Columbia’s online Journal), and Indiana Voices Journal. Her fiction has received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train. More at https://sultanaraza.com/about/

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20 Responses

  1. Satyananda Sarangi

    Wonderful sonnets. The cadence stands out and the mood of any reader is bound to be raised. Loved them to such an extent that I have some lines for this poetry from an old poem of mine:

    Lest my feet slow by days of endeavour,
    Tired eyelids no more see this flash of light;
    Read to me these lines so I could savour
    And escape the torment of every night.

    © 2017 Satyananda Sarangi. All rights reserved.

    Best wishes.

    • Sultana Raza

      Thank you Satyanand Sarangi for your kind words! I appreciate your lines too. It’s wonderful how you’ve created an almost languorous atmosphere with just four lines.!

    • Satyananda Sarangi

      Ma’am, I read the short essay by you on Keats in Gnarled Oak. The essay is too good and binds us to Keats’ creativity even more.

      • Sultana Raza

        Thank you. You’re very kind. We shouldn’t forget that Keats’s work is still inspiring so many people.

    • Sultana Raza

      Hello James,
      Thank you for your kind words. It’s amazing how many essays, books, not to mention poems are still being written about Keats’s works. He was a true genius.

      • James Sale

        Yes, absolutely – and as it happens there is an important reference to Keats and one of his poems in the 3rd Part of my Poetry and the Muses article for the Society, which I imagine will be out in July. So hopefully you will enjoy what I have to say about Keats.

      • Sultana Raza

        I was wondering about that, so it’s good to know it’s coming in June. Your articles need to be read with a quiet mind, and can’t be perused in a hurry if one is to do them justice. So I will comment on the first one when I can really take the time to appreciate it. Looking forward to them both!

  2. David Hollywood

    There are a number of wonderful lines and perceptions wrapped up in these verses.

  3. Mahbub Hasan

    Could you please write something about the treatment of death in Keats with references given by some renowned writers?

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    A delightful trio of creative and educative poems that bring an understanding to the works of Keats with a warm heart and fine eye. The acrostic poem is a lovely touch. He was most certainly ahead of his age and his innovative eye and sagacity are breathtaking.

    Inspired by your love of Keats, I watched Jane Campion’s “Bright Star” for the second time and wondered how much of it was true. It certainly captured my imagination, and having read your informative and admirable essay, I approached the film from a different perspective.

    Thank you for your generosity as a writer and as a commenter. It’s much appreciated.

    • Sultana Raza

      Susan, your comments mean all the more to me, coming from such a fine poet as yourself. Thanks for encouraging me. Re: the film, ‘Bright Star,’ though it was moving in parts, obviously, it was made to sell, and not tell the painful story of Keats’s love. Most scholars said it wasn’t based on reality when it came out, and I concur. Keats’s relationship with Isabella Jones was much more interesting, but not many papers have been published about it, to my knowledge. Indeed, he was ahead of his times, along with Shelley and the other Romantics in many ways. Unfortunately, the problems left by industrialisation (against which they were protesting) are still very much here. That’s why your wondrous poems on nature have a social value as well, in my opinion. I’d certainly encourage you to explore synesthesia in your own work too.


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