I face the day with unexpected strength,
to know we’ll meet when the sun has disappeared.
Your hand in mine we’ll walk the forest’s length,
with peace of mind and nothing to be feared.
I know the day may bring me to my knee,
And I know that they will try their best to break me,
but through all that your face is all I’ll see,
and from my dream they’ll ne’er succeed to wake me.
Our forest beckons, the moonlight paves our way,
the daylight wanes, and night puts paid to worry,
The weights that held me to the ground of day,
are cut by joy in a dancing, happy flurry.
When day’s absorbing duties are all done,
Night joins us, and while it reigns, we’re one.

 

Born and raised in Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh, Andrew McDiarmid immigrated to the U.S. in 1990 and currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington. In addition to hosting a podcast about his native Scotland, he writes regularly for various magazines and online publications. His poetry has been featured in the UK journal Acumen, Las Cruces, Poets & Writers Magazine, and in the 2018 anthology Washington’s Best Emerging Poets. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @amcdiarmid.


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5 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    Andrew,

    You might not care about this at all, but in an otherwise fairly well-wrought poem, I thought it a good idea to point out a few metrical discrepancies:

    There are a number of pyrrhic feet inserted, not just as substitutions for iambs, but sometimes adding a syllable to a line (iambic pentameter usually has ten syllables per line, unless there is a feminine end rhyme).

    In line 2, “when the” makes the syllable count eleven. I suppose that “when the sun” could be seen as an anapest substituting for an iamb. Fair enough.

    In line 6, “And I know” could also be seen as an anapest substitution, but with the feminine end rhyme you now have twelve syllables in that line.

    In line 9, “-ons, the” adds a syllable, and though it’s hard to analyze this in terms of meter, I find the line rather graceful.

    In line 12, “in a” seems to be a pyrrhic foot, and again you have twelve syllables. I suppose in this context, one might analyze the line as iamb/iamb/pyrrhic/trochee/trochee/trochee, which is very odd.

    In line 14, “us, and” seems to be a pyrrhic foot, but somehow the line has only nine syllables. Again, I think the line is rather graceful, which, at the end of the day, is one important element toward which a poet should should strive.

    To sum things up: Learn the definitions and the rules and only then defy or break them; every great poet does these things on a regular basis, but you can be sure they knew exactly what they were doing. Going forward, I commend this series of articles to your attention. The writer pretty much explicates nearly everything you wanted to know about prosody:

    http://www.expansivepoetryonline.com/journal/pagetwo.html

    Just scroll down and click on the topic(s) that pique your interest.

    Reply
    • Andrew McDiarmid

      Mr. Anderson, thank you for your comments! I admire your command of the metrical rules that govern the sonnet form! I wrote this at a younger age, and I assure you, I was thinking more about the love expressed in the poem than the conventions with which I was communicating it! Thanks for the link too, which I will consult in due course. Cheers!

      Reply

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