An Experimental Sonnet Sequence

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Clearwater Poet
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:00 pm
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An Experimental Sonnet Sequence

Post by totsakanth » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:45 pm


The two sonnets in this sequence are basically in Shakesperean form but are actually written in iambic heptameter rather than iambic pentameter. Additionally, rather than the 'standard' division of three quatrains and a couplet this is written as quatrain + octave (composed of two quatrains) + couplet, the quatrain featuring internal rhyme and the volta occurring at its end.
The overall rhyme scheme has remained true to the Shakesperean form however, as has the summatory nature of the final couplets.
This was a decision based on the two different types of approach within each sonnet. The intent is to show that beauty can be found in even the most prosaic of occupations.There was a deliberate attempt to differentiate between the 'external' persona of the truck driver as shown in the first quatrain of each sonnet and the octave showing the more sensitive 'inner man'. This being the case the two divisions of the sonnet do not follow 'standard practice' - if such a thing exists - but there is still an evident tension between them.
The last couplet of the first sonnet plays its traditional role as a summatory statement but since the two sonnets form a connected sonnet sequence the last couplet of the second sonnet must act as a summation not merely of the second sonnet but of the totality of the sequence.

This sonnet sequence is part of a larger collection called 'Men at Work'.

Sorry about the kangaroos. They sort of sneaked in...

On the Road

Up at five not yet alive, it's time to face the day,
The truck's below, all set to go, the load is tied down tight.
The racing clock the shower's shock it's time we're on the way,
The engine's strong, a working song, a farewell to the night
We glide along the sleeping streets, until the city yields
A courtly dance of stop and go, pavane in green and red
The measure's trod and now we pass between the silent fields
To meet the road, the open road, and here we have our head.
At last the sun the cool mist gilds, the world awakes anew
Where kangaroos all dressed in grey still gaze from paddock's rim
The drowsy cattle lift their heads 'midst trees bejewelled with dew
And birds arise to praise the dawn and raise the morning's hymn.
The ribbon-road beneath my wheels, the country gliding by
No King or Queen or Lord or Prince is blessed as am I!

The load has gone, it's half past one and homeward sets our heart
I back the truck and swing her round out through the loading gate
A ton or more gone off the floor and now we can depart,
The truck rides light as well it might relieved of all the weight.
I watched the new-birthed sun arise to open every flower,
Its dawning youth was royal dressed in gold and white display
I've seen the mellow tranquil tones as hour passes hour
But now in ruby mantled cloud I see an elder day.
A wondrous day, a weary day, and day is nearly done,
And nunc dimittis sing the birds as they return to nest.
I guide the truck into the bay and end another run,
A loving home, a cheering cup and now it's time to rest.
A feast of beauty have I seen from dawn to even's gloam
But never beauty to compare to beauty that is home.

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The Fat Cat
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Re: An Experimental Sonnet Sequence

Post by heinzs » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:52 am

At the end of the day home is where the heart is. Beautiful renditions, and thank you for the eloquent preamble. The land of Oz is almost defined by the ever-presence of kangaroos... :mrgreen:

An' it harm none, do what ye will. Blessed Be.
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Re: An Experimental Sonnet Sequence

Post by bags123 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:36 am

Wonderful poetry. :cheers: :cheers:
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart

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