I met the Sun this Maytime morning,
it stunned the outside wall.
Across the day I watched it yawning,
make dangling shadows crawl.

No curtain clouds closed down its shining.
Its single brilliance beamed.
All day I caught the hot sun ironing
the mayhems I had dreamed.

It pressed their wailings down to nothing,
made apprehension clear.
It ate away, with sunset mothing,
my now redundant fear.

Though dread in darkness had begun,
We don’t have shadows without sun.



Damian Robin is a writer and editor living in the United Kingdom.

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8 Responses

  1. Tonia Kalouria

    Good reminder in these
    troubled times! Love the end couplet.

  2. paul buchheit

    Well-constructed sonnet, Damian. I enjoyed the ing-ing rhyming patterns.

  3. Paul Freeman

    ‘sunset mothing’ – inspired!

    Thanks for a pretty amazing piece of poetry.

  4. Margaret Coats

    A spirited May song, Damian, with the cheer we miss when this little lyric subgenre, so vibrantly characteristic of English literature, gets lost. Thanks for mayking an excellent example!

  5. Cynthia Erlandson

    Lovely! This strikes me as quite reminiscent of Emily Dickinson, with its tetrameter-trimeter pattern; the somewhat mysterious imagery (“ironing the mayhems” — a great phrase!); and the interesting slant rhymes like morning/yawning; shining/ironing; nothing/mothing.

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Damian, this mellifluous marvel of a poem, with its sunny wonder and timely reminder in the message of the closing couplet, really does lift the spirits. The sun you describe reminds me of the fierce beams we have here in Texas, and, having lived here for ten years, I am very grateful for its presence all year round. Whenever I’m a bit low, I swathe myself in backyard sunshine and I’m soon feeling much better.

    Wonderful stuff! Thank you!

  7. James Sale

    Well done Damian, I like the clipped and compressed quality of this poem; it’s also lyrical, so the combination is powerful.

  8. BDW

    This superb, May lyric has many excellencies. Ms. Erlandson and Mr. Freeman noted the inspired Dickinson metric, rhyming, and phrasing, “ironing the mayhem” and “sunset mothing”, and others noted the closing couplet’s fine delivery.

    Its Hopkinsesque opening with alliterative m’s, capitalization of Sun (which I would have liked to see at the end as well), internal rhyme (Sun/stunned), its brilliant use of verbs, and, as Mr. Buchheit noted its remarkable use of gerunds throughout, all combine to make it a poem worthy of an anthology of New Millennial poetry. Although Mr. Buchheit called it a sonnet (ostensibly because of its fourteen lines), I would call it a “clipped tennos”. Everywhere, the poem bursts / out with / artistic energy. This is striking thematically, as Mr. Robin is the author of such dark works as “Organ Harvest”, etc.

    What I like most about “Up Beat” is its PostShelleyan clarity, certainly Yeatsian, and almost Dantesque. It is one of the many voices I have been striving for, throughout my poetic career [which Mr. Salemi calls “endless, witless charichording”], from my predominantly free-verse years, through the creation of manifold forms, up to my recent experimentation in the tennos, dodeca, etc. I have often found this voice in my studies of Spanish and Italian art, even in the philosophy of Bertrand Russell; and every now and then—indirectly—one gets glimpses of it @ SCP in works of Ms. Coats and Mr. MacKenzie; but it is fairly rare in English literature. Despite Milton’s latinate and italianate knowledge, it is not a voice he allows to arise from his powerful, resonating poetic voice.

    Briefly, then, “Up Beat” has become my favourite Damian Robin poem, because of its distinctive, transcendental clarity.


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