Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I’m bound by a feeling so deep and wide,
So huge, so delicate, so strong, so loud,
That I cannot, and will, not push aside,
Of which I’m infinitely proud,
A feeling without which, I’m lost, I’m spent,
Bound to one so short, bound to one so good,
She is one who as if by Venus sent,
She fuels the fire of passion like dry wood.
She grab’d control of mine mortal man’s heart,
With her, for all the gold of this large world,
I would not voluntarily part.
Even were my mind to become unfurl’d,
I’d still recognise and wildly love,
Someone I will never bore or tire of.


  1. Hiya Muffin Man,

    This is a great poem. And what I’m learning about you is that you enjoy the challenge of including longer words in your poetry, which for this sonnet is perfect! Interesting use of the apostrophe in grab’d (although grabbed is still just one beat, so is not necessarily needed) and unfurl’d (ditto). It has a very divine feel, with the use of the words ‘Venus’ and ‘mortal’. The images are vivid and I love how you don’t mention who the ‘love’ is. Saying this I feel you may have become confused with some of the language (maybe you are trying to fit it into the metre). You talk about her being heaven sent, but would not give up all the money in the world for her? This is the line where you say you wouldn’t voluntarily give it up... is this what you meant? If it is ignore me!

    Your grasp on the metre is almost there, but you slip a couple of times. In the first line the emphasis falls naturally on the FEEL of FEEL-ing, so when reading it, it sounds a little awkward. The second line is spot on (I’m impressed with the word DEL-i-CATE in here!). The third line is perfect. The fourth line is only four beats – of WHICH i’m IN-fin-IT-ely PROUD. The fifth line is brilliant (and here you have the stress on the FEEL of FEEL-ing, which works better), but the sixth line starts with the stress – BOUND to ONE so SHORT – and then gets muddles with the stress of short and bound next to each other – BOUND to ONE so SHORT, BOUND to ONE so GOOD (it’s also six DUMs but only five dees). The seventh line has a similar problem in that the first word becomes the emphasis, although if you force the emphasis onto the second word it’s good. How about ‘and SHE is ONE that COULD be VE-nus SENT’ or something like that. The eighth line is great (I know it’s confusing cos it also starts with ‘she’, but in this case the ‘fuels’ carries more emphasis, and ‘is’ doesn’t hold much emphasis). In the ninth line you’ve used the word ‘mine’ where it should be ‘my’. Also, ‘my’, ‘mortal’ and ‘man’ are all strong emphasis words, and mortal has the emphasis on the MORT, with the al almost fading into nothing. The tenth line is good to go. The eleventh line is a little muddled, and I would really suggest changing the word voluntarily, as there is very little chance you will make this fit (VOL-un-TAR-i-LY in case you want to try). With the twelfth line the emphasis is again on the first word, and I don’t know if there is a way for making it so that ‘even’ is not an emphasised word. It’s just a very hard hitting word. In the penultimate line the metre is slightly off – i’d STILL RE-cog-NISE and WILD-ly LOVE, how about changing the ‘still’ and ‘I’d’ around and add in a soft word like ‘yet’ – yet STILL i’d RE-cog-NISE and WILD-ly LOVE. The last line is fine, you can force emphasis on the ‘or’ and ‘of’ rather than the ‘bore’ and ‘tire’, and the rhyming of ‘love’ and ‘of’ is original and works really well.

    All and all, this is a really great poem, and you’ve very nearly got the form right. There is a great content and very interesting and unusual rhyme. None of this moon-June stuff for you! You definitely have the makings of an excellent poet!


  2. Muffin Man, hi there. Phew, he’s driving you hard with these iambic pentameters, isn’t he? Well, it’s worth the struggle. It forces you to recast sentences/lines until the words fit the rhythm. A poem is a machine for generating meaning. The better you understand the mechanics of the machine, the more forcefully it will generate that meaning in the reader’s brain. However, thinking about this stuff will make a better prose writer of you, too, I promise.

    Well, some of the lines in the poem, I’m afraid, don’t fit the strict requirements of the form. However, rather than going through and commenting on each one, what I’m going to do is focus on just two lines, and show how and why they work or don’t work. They are lines 2 and 3.

    Strictly speaking, both are quite acceptable iambic pentameters. I like the list aspect of lines 1 and 2 too, it’s quite appropriate to the sonnet form – BUT when you read it, the stress seems to fall wrong, landing a bit lumpily on the ‘cate’ of ‘delicate’.

    Okay, so how about swapping around ‘delicate’ and ‘strong’, so that it reads

    “So huge, so strong, so delicate, so loud”

    Now it reads – to me anyway – much better. YET, bizarrely, it’s the same syllables of the words that are being stressed! What’s going on? Somehow, it seems, the third stress, or beat, of the line is particularly important. The line *likes it better* with the ‘de’ of DE-li-cate falling on that third beat than ‘cate’.

    Ok, so we’ve got the new line

    “So huge, so strong, so delicate, so loud”

    Now it reads better, but it reads a bit bizarrely, with ‘delicate’ coming between ‘strong’ and ‘loud’, when strong and loud seemed to sit together better. How about moving ‘delicate’ to the beginning?

    “So delicate, so strong, so huge, so loud”

    Now that important third beat falls on ‘strong’, which does seem appropriate. Perhaps if I was to tinker with the line more, I’d try to think of a different word for ‘huge’, which is a bit vague, but to me, in general, the line is better like this. All I’ve done is move the words around in it, so that they fit better into the structure of the line.

    The third line (“That I cannot, and will, not push aside”) may seem by contrast, uninteresting. It’s got less going on in it than line 2, yet it works (especially if you split ‘cannot’ into two words, to help the reader allocate the stresses) because the right words fall on the right beats. ‘I’ on 1, ‘will’ on 3, ‘side’ on 5. ‘push’ is stressed, as it should be. ‘not’ is stressed once, and unstressed once, creating a nice internal echo. Likewise, one of the verbs (‘will’) is stressed, while the other (‘can’) isn’t. what seems simple is actually quite complex.

    I hope that’s helpful. Remember, a poem is a machine for generating meaning. Open it up and tinker around with it, understand how it works. And then, when you come to write paragraphs of prose, there will be a part of your mind thinking about rhythm, about how paragraph is a machine for generating meaning too, and how you arrange sentences in it, and words in the sentences, is just as important.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.