A song’s composer’s music might reveal
A question or idea in such a way
That black notes penned on paper weigh what’s real;
But if unheard his work subsides to gray.

That gray divides back into black and white
When trained musicians take the score and play.
As themes evolve they could make silvered light;
Yet if it’s unobserved it’s still just gray.

An audience completes the shift: debates
Combine and quicken gray with silver’s shine
As truths they share change mental states—
Perspectives they might hope could intertwine.

Released their gifts link up while setting free;
They form Quicksilver steps to Unity.



Charles Bauer resides in Chapel Hill, NC and is a salesman for a commercial carpet manufacturer. 

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6 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    Line 11 does not fit the iambic pentameter scheme. It’s a shame when a good sonnet is spoiled by a single metrical infelicity.

    I’d suggest a fix something along these lines:

    As truths they share enliven mental states–

    • Charlie Bauer

      Thanks for pointing that out Mr. Salemi! I agree with your observation on meter and am a bit annoyed that I seem to have developed a tin ear.

      Besides the meter the line as a whole seems weak to me, with the weakness centering on the word “change”. What do you think of:

      As truths evolve within their mental states—

      Wishing you the best,


      • Joseph S. Salemi

        I do think that line 11 is weak, and not just because of the metrical issue. It’s that the grammar of the whole sentence is a bit tangled. The plural word “debates” in line 9 is the noun subject of “combine and quicken,” but the plural noun subject of the verb “change” in line 9 is “truths.” Because there is only minimal punctuation in the whole quatrain, the reader can get confused.

      • Charlie Bauer

        Thanks for the thoughts! Those are good directions for improving this poem.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    When I count syllables I use my fingers. No shame in that. Most intact human beings have hands with iambic pentameter fingers. I didn’t quite like the repetition of the rhyme “gray.” There must be dozens of other words that would have rhymed.

    • Charlie Bauer

      Hi C.B.

      Yep, I use my fingers too, but over four seems to be higher math for me right now!

      Your point about the repetition of the word gray is well taken and I agree that the practice is best avoided. In this case, gray is a central idea to the poem and the repetition is intentional.

      Wishing you the best,



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