"Merced River, Yosemite Valley" by Albert BierstadtThree Sonnets by Aidan Chivers The Society March 13, 2018 Beauty, Poetry 4 Comments I. As clear blue symbols dance before my eyes, And I lie still, my head upon the ground, Each part of me, in dappled sunshine crowned, Wants formal shape in selfish compromise, And hides itself in Nature’s rich disguise – I watch my youthful fragments form a mound Of former selves, which gather all around: Each finds its home around me, breathes, and flies. Between two trees which frame infinity, The cloudy dome of heaven seems to share Twin languages of romance and of prayer; It sings its hymns to one divinity, Who whispers through the pious earth and air, And holds me in its timeless unity. II. Exhausted by the strains of human words, I hope to find, in time I spend alone, A place of mystic streams and sleeping birds: A world between the ancients’ and my own. I watch the autumn’s rippling waters gleam As willows whisper soft, eternal thanks, And think I catch a glance, in verdant dream, Of what might lie beyond earth’s floating banks. Washed clean by sweetened sleep and drifting leaves, Which bid me warm farewells as here I lie, I watch an ancient pattern, as it weaves Its path through childhood longings in the sky – It gives me glimpses of a gentle truth Which might be found in rediscovered youth. III. When I seek beauty in the distant skies, To flee the smog which clings around my head, All I can see are tempests burning red Through swarming clouds of dust which sting my eyes; I long to hide away from plaintive cries Of beasts which throng the barren river bed And lick dry soil between the rotting dead One day our sickly Mother Nature woke And could not shake off Man’s polluted cloak Weaved thick by flight paths through acidic smoke: Her putrid lungs now give their final croak While water nymphs on floating plastic choke – But if we act before our planet dies, We still might find some beauty in the skies. Aidan Chivers is a 3rd year undergraduate in Classics & French at Oxford, currently on his year abroad out in France. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 4 Responses Lenore March 13, 2018 Lovely to read! Reply Joe Tessitore March 13, 2018 I agree with Lenore; lovely, spiritual and thought-provoking. If there is a Creative Force behind all that we see, will It stand helplessly by while we go about destroying it? I think not. We had nothing at to do with all that we see and yet we believe that we can bring it all to an end, without really even trying to. Seems to me like we suffer from a kind of reverse omnipotence. Reply Allen March 13, 2018 Just lovely and its disturbing end, gathers little hope to it. Always hope. I believe some discussion about what came out of Pandora’s box. I go for the hope! Reply James A. Tweedie March 13, 2018 Your three sonnets are unified in theme while being creatively diverse in form. They are well-crafted and speak of important matters in images that are (quite literally) down-to-earth (lying on one’s back in contemplation of the clouds and sky framed by nearby trees). Lovely. Your words also evoke a memory of myself as a college undergraduate writing poetry in which I recalled my own childhood innocence and the “gentle truth which might be found in rediscovered youth.” Today, I consider my youthful years to have been the ones I spent in college! Aiden, you are off to a great start. May you never cease to be a youth and may you always find enchantment, beauty, and inspiration in the earth, the air, and in “the one divinity” who both “whispers” and “holds” you. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.