The Spartan king Leonidas and his companions devoting themselves to death.‘A Sonnet on Taking a Leap of Faith’ by Brian Yapko The Society December 26, 2020 Beauty, Poetry 14 Comments This is the day for manifesting soul To flesh, for making contemplation real; Incorporeal yet real and whole Advancing to some heavenly ideal. Not such transcendence as annuls the Earth Or disregards Creation as a dream. We live awhile, then fall into our birth Past death into a luminescent beam. While we are blest with life we should aspire To work for good, to love, not just observe; To treasure mercy, always to inspire. Not just to hunt and gather but to serve. Our time on Earth is not for us alone Our acts are what we are. Not what we own. Brian Yapko is a lawyer who also writes poetry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. 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 James A. Tweedie December 26, 2020 Brian, I have to confess I struggled with the sense of the opening octet. But the closing sestet is magnificent indeed, filled with original phrases that are near-Miltonian in the clarity of its their moral imperatives. I am particularly taken with “Not just to hunt and gather but to serve.” and the closing couplet: Our time on Earth is not for us alone Our acts are what we are. Not what we own. It is truth framed in beauty. Nice. The sestet (which is a near perfect poem by itself) is also a message that well-captures the raison d’etre of Boxing Day (today); a day set aside In the British Commonwealth to remember those who serve us and provide an occasion to say “Thank you” to them. Reply BRIAN YAPKO December 26, 2020 Thank you, James. I appreciate the criticism. The octet was aiming for something metaphysical but landed a little short. I’m glad you liked the sestet. I’m a big believer in service but it’s not something that’s easy to convey without sounding preachy. Reply Sally Cook December 26, 2020 Dear Brian Yapko, This is a graceful treatise on what we should always be doing, Boxing Day or no. The kind of poet I am speaks to the heart of a poem; investigates it and then respond. I cannot concern my self with the warts and limps when the message is strong. I am a simple poet, and your poem spoke to me. Thank you. Reply BRIAN YAPKO December 26, 2020 Thank you for your kind comment, Sally! Reply LAURA SCHWARTZ December 26, 2020 Dear Brian, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. John Keats knew whereof he spoke and must have written that line for you. Your opening octet was itself a “luminescent beam” as was this sonnet as a whole. Please continue with your gorgeous writing. We are all the better for it. Reply BRIAN YAPKO December 26, 2020 Thank you for your kind comment, Laura! Reply Yael December 26, 2020 That’s a beautiful poem and I love every part of it, thank you. Reply BRIAN YAPKO December 26, 2020 Thank you for your kind comment, Yael! Reply Cerise Corinne Barber December 26, 2020 Oh, Brian, thank you for the uplifting of our gaze from this troubled earth. Beautiful work. I don’t know or aspire to octets, etc., just clear, beautiful pictures of concepts. You nailed it. Reply BRIAN YAPKO December 27, 2020 Thank you very much, Cerise! Reply C.B. Anderson December 28, 2020 Just what does a picture of a concept look like, Cerise? And exactly what kind of nails do you use to pin things down? Reply C.B. Anderson December 26, 2020 You made some very good points, Brian, and generated some rather deft phrases, but in the end and as a whole, the poem was the essence of vacuity. The second half of the second stanza should serve as a prime example of what I am writing about just now — a flabby idea not grounded in any coherent reality. I understand the elation of the poet who strings felicitous expressions together, but that’s not the same thing as expressing a clear idea. Don’t worry. I have overreached many times in this dimension myself. Dot your “I”s, cross your “T”s, and be as exact and as exacting as you possibly can. Reply BRIAN YAPKO December 27, 2020 I always appreciate your criticism and will take it to heart. Thank you. Reply C.B. Anderson December 28, 2020 Think and grow — that’s all I ask. 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.