"Poetry" by Marie-Victoire Lemoine‘Oh, When I Think Back’ and Other Poetry by Theresa Rodriguez The Society August 8, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 14 Comments Oh, When I Think Back Oh, when I think back to those halcyon days, When I believed the possibility That truest love would manifest to me And highest hopes would set the heart ablaze, I looked amidst the heat, and smoke, and haze To find this source of reciprocity, To find the embers, glowing earnestly Which gave me joy, but it was not to be. For passion only came from in my heart And not another, for it was not you Who loved me back, but bade me to depart, And stomped upon the yearning fires, too. For all my dreams were thus deludedly The conflagrations of a fantasy. A Sonneteer’s Musing I strive to put my heart and mind to page: The art of fourteen lines is to be prized; A craftsman, wordsmith, seeking to engage The reader, and to be thus recognized. With blood, and sweat, and tears, works are revised, And pruned, and honed, in effort to be best; Of quatrains, couplets, iambs, works comprised Within the forms of sonnet— best expressed In all ideas and thoughts within my breast, And all the turns and lines within my mind. So all components here are put to test, And every facet fits when thus combined. So for this title I will persevere, To be known as a bard, a sonneteer. Theresa Rodriguez is the author of Jesus and Eros: Sonnets, Poems and Songs, a collection of 65 sonnets soon being released in a second edition by Shanti Arts, and her third book of poetry, entitled Longer Thoughts, which has just been released by Shanti Arts. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Religion and Intellectual Life, the Midwest Poetry Review, Leaf Magazine, Spindrift, the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, The Road Not Taken: A Journal of Formal Poetry, Mezzo Cammin, The Epoch Times, and the Society of Classical Poets. Her website is www.bardsinger.com. 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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) 14 Responses Joe Tessitore August 8, 2020 I think in your last line of “Sonneteer” you meant “bard” and not “board”. Reply Theresa Rodriguez August 8, 2020 Thank you Joe, Evan has corrected it. Reply Terry L. Norton August 8, 2020 Yes, I stumbled over “board” as well and thought “bard” was intended. I like the second sonnet but think the first is superb. Reply Theresa Rodriguez August 8, 2020 Thank you very much, Terry, for your kind comment. I am not sure where the “board” came from; I submitted it with “bard.” Maybe some auto-correct incident? Anyway it looks corrected now. Thanks again. David Paul Behrens August 8, 2020 Both sonnets are great, the first one being very sad and heartfelt. Well done! Reply Theresa Rodriguez August 8, 2020 Thank you very much, David! Reply Joseph S. Salemi August 8, 2020 “A Sonneteer’s Musing” takes upon itself a very difficult task — writing a sonnet about the complex motivations of the writer of a sonnet, and the intricacies of the labor involved. Such a sonnet is always going to be somewhat abstract and introspective, since it does not address anything external like a love situation or an argument. Let me make a few suggestions: Because the basic pitfall of any sonnet like this is over-abstraction, the best thing to do is avoid unnecessary abstraction by getting rid of certain terms, and by enchanting the reader with a very smooth rhythmic flow. In this sonnet, the three weak lines are 9, 10, and 11: In all ideas and thoughts within my breast, And all the turns and lines within my mind. So all components here are put to test The repetitions of “all” and “within my” are also a problem. A possible revision (which avoids them, and tones down the abstractions) might be this: By all the intimations that suggest The many turning thoughts within my mind. The eleventh line (which uses the clunky abstraction “components”) could also be revised by giving a suggestion of warfare coming to a happy conclusion: So warring parts at last are put to rest, And every facet fits when thus combined. This also avoids the mistake of “put to test,” which is not a proper idiom. The correct form is “put to the test,” but since that spoils the meter it’s better to use “put to rest.” All of this gives a much sharper closure to the poem. These are just suggestions, nothing more. Reply Theresa Rodriguez August 8, 2020 Many thanks, Dr. Salemi, for taking the time to make such thoughtful suggestions on behalf of my sonnet. I appreciate it very much. You have given me much food for thought! Reply Margaret Coats August 8, 2020 What an intriguing pair! The first seems all love, and the second all art. Not true, of course, because both read with metrical perfection. And “Oh, when I think back” plays judiciously with the fire imagery, even when the poem reaches and names the conflagrations in the last line and word. “Musing” has an exquisite turn, with sonnet subjects (“all ideas and thoughts”) added generically to the octave’s discourse on the craft. A struggling love of “works comprised” seems to be the love in this art sonnet. And then there is the contrast of rhyme scheme between the two poems–a challenging Spenserian following the Petrarchan that surreptitiously returns to bb for its “illicit” couplet. Did you plan these as such a superb pair? Reply Theresa Rodriguez August 8, 2020 Thank you Margaret for your kind comments, they mean a great deal to me. No, I did not plan these as a pair; the credit for that goes to the choice Evan made out of three that I had originally submitted. Thanks again very much, your words are quite an encouragement! Reply C.B. Anderson August 9, 2020 In the first poem, Theresa, in the 11th line, you wrote “bid,” but since the surrounding clauses are in the past tense, you should have written “bade,” which would keep the whole passage in the past tense. Otherwise, the two poems were nice compelling work. Reply Theresa Rodriguez August 10, 2020 Thank you, C.B., for pointing out the needed correction and for your kind comment, I appreciate it very much! I have asked Evan to amend it. Reply James Sale August 16, 2020 Lovely poetry; Theresa is always at her best when she writes from the heart: “When I believed the possibility That truest love would manifest to me And highest hopes would set the heart ablaze,” – so simple but so powerful too. Excellent work. Reply Theresa Rodriguez August 16, 2020 Thanks so much James, I appreciate the encouragement! 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.