Writer’s Block

I feel like I am plodding through cement;
My mind is full of cotton batting. Dull,
And dense, and empty-headed, thinking spent
On trying to find clarity. To mull
About within and come up vacant. Try
I might but efforts are in vain. My words
Seem plastic, or ephemeral, trite, dry,
No meaning—or I’ve lost them. All this girds
My faculties to action, but to naught.
I wish I could say what has not been said
Before; but I come up again, distraught
About the product, from a deadened head!

Oh would that something fresh would come to me,
Not what amounts to sheer banality!



Grey Sonnet

You say that you are grey, but do you know
How shades of grey are complementary
To russet, red, maroon or crimson’s flow
And other hues of blood that bleed from me?

You admix, so you say, of black and white;
But did you notice how the dawn of grey
Will burst with yellow purples, pinks and light
When face to face confronted with the day?

Then you are every color and are none:
For black absorbs and white reflects; yet free
In alchemy the rigid comes undone,
And then my spectrum you more clearly see.

For grey to dwell alone is grey indeed
When colors yearn to contrast, blend and bleed.



Theresa Rodriguez is the author of Jesus and Eros: Sonnets, Poems and Songs as well as a chapbook of 37 sonnets, both of which are available as ebooks on amazon.com. She is a classical singer and voice teacher who has written for Classical Singer magazine. She recently released an album entitled Lullabies: Traditional American and International Songs which is available on all streaming services.

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

15 Responses

  1. David Watt

    Theresa, your ‘Grey Sonnet’ is anything but grey!
    Indeed, where would we be without contrasting colors?
    I am glad to see an absence of writer’s block in this case.

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    These are two very nice sonnets, especially the second one, which presents the reader with a subdued, autumnal rainbow. I would suggest only one change — in “Grey Sonnet,” in the second line, the word should be spelled “complementary.” The word “complimentary” refers to the act of paying compliments.

    • Sally Cook

      Dear Theresa,

      Yes, what Joseph Salemi said about “complimentary”; nothing else in that vein.

      You see, as do I, the connection of one artistic exploration to another. Your understanding of color gives so much to your poetry, and must also to your voice. The first poem is lighter than the second; ironic, too. Grey is my favorite.

      As a painter, I, too, am aware of the subtleties of color in music and in poetry. I can see the music in combining certain colors and hues; the poetry in a reserved color scheme.

      kkI would be interested to know how long you have been writing.

      I am looking forward to a time when we may meet. Thanks for sharing some excellent work.

      • Theresa Rodriguez

        Thank you for your kind words Sally. I have been writing poetry since I was probably ten years old (which makes it nearly fifty years now). If you would like to correspond via email, I have asked Evan to give you my email address.

    • Theresa Rodriguez

      Thank you very much Dr. Salemi for the correction. I have asked Evan to make the modification.

  3. Gleb Zavlanov

    Dear Ms. Rodriguez,

    “I feel like I am plodding through cement;”

    “But I come up again, distraught
    About the product, from a deadened head!”

    You’ve described writer’s block so perfectly.

    I can’t being to tell how many times I’ve suffered from that and felt exactly like in these lines.

    I also love your use of enjambments. It contributes to the feeling of being stuck.

    Great work!


  4. Monty

    Well, that’s a rather fitting coincidence, Theresa.

    My life takes on another dimension for about 15 weeks every year (June till Sept), which necessitates an enforced absence from SCP. I only get to read maybe one in every ten submissions during that period. Well, said period has just ended for this year, and I’m once again ready and rampant to devour SCP’s offerings.

    The coincidence being . . the last poem I can remember getting properly involved with on these pages – just before the START of my absence – was your piece ‘New Day’ (in May, or early June?).. which, after a gentle nudge, you transformed from a piece criminally lacking in grammar to a highly-accomplished poem. And now, at the END of my absence, the first two poems I’ve encountered on these pages are from the very same author . . you.

    And what a ‘two poems’ they are. I doubted you before, Theresa, but now I can see clearly that you are unequivocally the real thing. Both pieces are deserving of the highest praise, for a multitude of reasons: The thoughtful and felt subject-matters (as opposed to many I see on these pages; seemingly unfelt mutterings about the landscape, etc.. just for an excuse to write a poem); Fluidly and fluently written in the clearest of diction; Perfectly-placed metaphors; Consistent and disciplined rhymes (no bending or cheating); And that word again: GRAMMAR! Both pieces are grammatically immaculate: not too little, not too much. It’s that which gives every individual sentence it’s fullest and clearest impact; which affords the reader to flow through both pieces without hesitance.

    The way I see things, Theresa.. there are those who write poetry: and there are bona fide poets. Consider yourself firmly in the latter.

    • Theresa Rodriguez

      Thank you very much Monty for all you said, I am deeply touched and appreciative.

  5. Satyananda Sarangi

    Hello Theresa ma’am!

    Both the sonnets are rich in their poesy.

    The first one is close to everyone who has ever tried to write down something. The second one brings out a new dimension to how grey as a colour, is a spectrum in itself.


    Regards and best wishes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.