The roar of battle rends the moonlit sky
With distant thunder as of cannons booming.
And bursting, crashing, popping salvos fly
Above the roar, the whirr of rockets zooming.

The din deceives, for when it yields to sight
A fire-dance fills the sky whose salvo jolts
Blithe, awestruck smiles to gasps of sheer delight
That brave the thunder to behold its bolts:

Starbursts of crimson, purple, orange, and green;
A blinding flash of white; a gold cascade
Or silver—sparkling fountains that careen
Like champagne spritz; bright clustered stars bright-rayed;

Or fire-sprites swirling in a spiral gyre,
Whistling as they whirl into nothingness;
Volcanic founts of sparks, pillars of fire
Ascending as they flare and incandesce.

The bursting fires so dazzlingly arrayed
By art into this eye-bewitching show
Rain in bombs and roar in the cannonade
That levels cities and lays legions low.

And in their thunder rings the din of war,
Echoes that inexorably portend
The clash of battle never looming far,
And bid the bursting sky-borne fires descend.



Adam Sedia (b. 1984) lives in his native Northwest Indiana, with his wife, Ivana, and their children, and practices law as a civil and appellate litigator. In addition to the Society’s publications, his poems and prose works have appeared in The Chained Muse Review, Indiana Voice Journal, and other literary journals. He is also a composer, and his musical works may be heard on his YouTube channel.

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11 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Adam, this is a beautifully crafted poem that brings the busy skies of bursting fireworks to life, and leaves its subtle embers of wisdom cascading back down to earth in the closing stanza. Your poem is a pleasure to read.

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    The quatrains dazzle with their abundant use of sound and color — perfectly suited to a poem about a fireworks display.

    And I hope everyone notices that Mr. Sedia’s iambic pentameter is perfectly traditional and regular, employing a feminine rhyme in one place, and a few trochaic starts, and some internal substitutions.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      A fine poem, Mr. Sedia. The ending’s sobering effect is startling, and reflects the fact that fireworks diplays were intended to impress in more ways than one.

  3. Sally Cook

    Yoiur words crackle and snap, and your picture is complete.
    But there is also a warning by example. Very fine poem.

  4. Roy E. Peterson

    “Fireworks” is a poem that scintillates with color and sound transporting one to the scene of the rockets zooming and sizzling flashes tumbling from the sky. Beautifully conceived and written.

  5. Jess Sleight

    Loved ‘incandesce’ and the minds eye imagining all the colors as he wrote them. Lovely..and an always reminder of what the fireworks represent………thank you.

  6. Adam Sedia

    Thank you, everyone for the remarks. I am truly thankful for the appreciation shown.

    I conceived the idea for this poem after listening to Stravinsky’s “Fireworks,” and thought I could achieve a picture through verse rather than music.

    On another note, Indiana has notoriously lax fireworks regulations, so I get some of the best shows just sitting on my porch and watching the neighbors’ fireworks. Last night didn’t disappoint.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      I was thinking of Handel’s Fireworks Music as I was writing,and 2ndarily of Stravinsky. Happy listening!

  7. BDW

    Because I am writing about everything I can, I am often late to e-mails and to commentaries. Recently I discovered a comment I had missed from 1 ½ years ago.

    Anyway…much about the poem reminds me of my youth, by topic and structure. I don’t know how many poems I’ve written on fireworks, metaphoric’lly and descriptively, but his poem in alternating rhymes of iambic pentameter is superior overall to any of them, particularly owing to his mastery of orchestral colouring, his visual instrumentation, and his content. In fact, Mr. Sedia’s “Fireworks” is the best poem on fireworks I can remember that I have ever read by any author; Mr. Woodriff, Ms. Cook, and Mr. Sleight all noting what is particularly remarkable about the piece.

    His own comment, however, sent me to Stravinsky’s “Fireworks”.

    Feu d’Artifice
    by Waldi Berceuse
    “fire sprites swirling in a spiral gyre,/ Whistling as they whirl into nothingness”
    —Adam Sedia, “Fireworks”

    Beginning with unfurling backing, flutes in frenzied quest
    to three-note whirls with horns, first-violins and trumpet’s zest,
    it builds, and beats, a runner’s heart in a one-minute’s dash,
    explosive fanfares, flying in to a percussive crash,

    which quiets to strange listless strains with languid peacefulness,
    a misty, eerie pausing, wonderful, mysterious,
    extending to a wistful, rimsky-korsakov-like rest,
    exotic, magical, an orchestrated restfulness;

    from which the twisting fantasy proceeds transparently,
    by clearing silence with its airs moved forth inerrantly,
    exquisite colourings in an incessantly busying,
    a twittering of glitter, layered flair, o, dizzying.

    Waldi Berceuse is a poet of Russian and other Slavic music. Russian Nationalist Composer Nicolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) was the teacher of Modernist Russian-American Composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), the author of “Feu d’Artifice”.


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