A nightly walk – sonnet

Victoria and Albert Museum

This wash drawing of an unidentified moonlit landscape is typical of Constable’s last phase. He employed the medium of wash frequently in his later years, using it to produce expressionistic sketches that verged on abstraction. These were never intended for the public eye, and would have been considered unacceptable for exhibition by the standards of the day.

I’m walking home across the moonlit heath
To warmth of cottage yet another mile
Oh, save me from the werewolf’s claw and teeth
And other hellish critter bad and vile
A churchyard on the moor I have to cross
The rusty gate is squeaking harsh and loud
Oh, midnight church bells tolls for deathly loss
And darkness deepens from a passing cloud
I stop and listen to the wailing wind
And then I hear the footsteps that I meet
Oh, pray the beastly thing that comes is kind
Then understand it’s just my wife so sweet
She takes my hand and bring me home again
From now I will from nightly walks abstain

I expanded a 4 line tetrameter on artwiculate (word was heath) to a sonnet. October 9 2012. Picture comes from Victoria and Albert Museum.

12 responses to “A nightly walk – sonnet

  1. Good show! Some very delightful imagery! I was quaking in my jammies and slippers! And then, I laughed as the volta exposed the false alarm!

    I do a lot of this expanding as well! I’ll takes something, for example that I wrote many decades ago–perhaps even in childhood–very often a free verse, and turn it into a sonnet or a sequence of sonnets. It’s great fun, a worthy challenge and a wonderful way to revisit old work.

    If there is ever anything I can do to help you in your journey;whereupon you go a-sonneting, please do not hesitate to ask,

    • Thank you David, I use twitter to test my ideas. Have a great set of followers. A four line tetrameter is a nice format for 140 characters. In this case it was the first stanza I wrote.
      Like this:

      I walk across the moonlit heath
      My cottage yet another mile
      Oh save me from the werewolf’s teeth
      And other critter bad and vile

      • Very fun. Also, Re help:

        I never give unsolicited advice,
        Unless asked, I only accentuate positives… Or:
        They’ll throw bricks at me!.

      • No problem, I am a newbie on poetry, and also English is my second language so I’m happy for advice.

      • My good man! Second language you say! Very impressive! I’m even more reluctant now, to offer anything!!

        I’ll just offer up one simple idea:

        Unless you are trying to create a kind of “skippy” sound deliberately, it’s better to rephrase than to skip words, i.e. pronouns, etc. Conforming to the form, or whatever version of the form you’ve decided upon, will expand your mind and knowledge of the language.

        It’s just a great exercise figuring out a phrase that fits the form you are using!

        But… of course… sometimes skipping sounds good and works. Thats the thing regarding all kinds of art–the only rules are the ones you decide to follow! : )

        That one simple idea is plenty to chew on for a long while.

  2. I like David Emeron’s quote; “the only rules are the ones you decide to follow”. And I’m very impressed with your writing- even more so now that I read that English is your second language. Very evocative with a fun twist ending. Good job.

    • Thank you Paul, I think I know were to improve this one slightly. Might do a second revision at one point. Wrote it as a part of a word game on twitter… 🙂

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