Saturday, September 22, 2018

Weekend Mini Challenge: A Rainbow of Sonnets


Welcome to the Weekend Mini Challenge with Kim from Writing in North Norfolk.

We haven’t had a sonnet prompt for a while and I recently discovered a beautiful one by Sylvia Townsend Warner, who was born in 1893 and died in 1978. Although she's best known for her historical novels, Warner was also a poet. 
Image result for sylvia townsend warner
Image from Wikipedia
This particular sonnet struck me because of its exploration of the colour blue in the first stanza and the emotions expressed in the shorter second stanza.

‘To no believable blue I turn my eyes’

To no believable blue I turn my eyes
Blinded with sapphire, watchet, gentian,
Shadow on snow, Mediterranean,
Midsummer or midwinter-moonlight skies.
Unstained by sight, unravished by surmise,
And uttering into the void her ban,
Her boast, her being – I know not a man!
Out of all thought the virgin colour flies.

After her, soul! Have in unhaving, peace,
Let thy lacklight lighten upon thee, read
So well thy sentence that it spells release,
Explore thy chain, importune suns to cede
News of thy dark – joyed with thy doom’s increase,
And only by distinction of fetters freed.

Sylvia Townsend Warner

This weekend I would like you to write a NEW sonnet based on a colour of your choice. It could be your favourite colour, a colour that has a special meaning, a seasonal colour – it’s up to you. The challenge is to write it in two stanzas: in the first, explore the colour and in the second, express emotion(s) awakened by the colour. It can be a classic sonnet or a modern sonnet.

Join our rainbow of sonnets by clicking on Mister Linky and filling in your name and url – not forgetting to click the small ‘data’ box. And please remember to read and comment on other toads’ poems – otherwise they’ll be blue.


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eeep! I've never written a sonnet! Holy smokes! LOL ... well, this is a challenge. An interesting one, for the colour content, - as for the form ... *snorting with delight* ... well, let's see, how "serious" do I have to be?

Okay, I've done some research and I think, I'll just run with what I've quickly penned ~ I chose a Petrarchan version, to offer some structure. And well, I've tried to sort of answer the challenge, but maybe not as clearly split in "explore the colour" and then "express the emotions." So this is my first attempt, and maybe later I'll work on it a bit more.

It was fun and kind of weird at the same time ~ and I appreciate the challenge Kim. It definitely has expanded my mind and horizons, and I do enjoy colours so much. Anyhow, thanks for hosting this weekend mini-challenge - and I ask my fellow poets forgiveness for my feeble attempts.

brudberg said...

Yay.. a sonnet challenge... I will try to get it done before bedtime.

Anmol (HA) said...

That's a delightful challenge, Kim. Also, I found the poem quite alluring.

I find iambs and other rhythmic verses rather restricting; so I have followed the Shakespearean rhyme scheme and 10-syllable structure, with a natural free-flowing rhythm. Hope my interpretation is up to the mark though — I have taken inspiration from it to begin and end it on the said notes. The middle is an amalgam of one and all. Ha!
Happy Weekend!

Toni Spencer said...

Thank you for this challenge Kim! As I find iambs and rhymes so restricting, I have done a free form sonnet. A rather Japanese-y sonnet. A free form sonnet is 14 lines, that is all. There are lots of colors too - a rainbow!

peterfrankiswrites.wordpress.com said...

Thanks for this terrific prompt. I'd just written in my diary of the need for challenge and - ta da - it arrives.

Margaret said...

Thank you. I took creative license as I really am horrid at rhyming... I hope it met enough "rules and regs" for a modern sonnet... ?

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I havent written a sonnet in a long time and quite enjoyed it. But I stayed up late to write it, so will come around and read everyone's in the morning. Smiles.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I adore sonnets! They have been a particular passion of mine, both to read and write. I have not yet found time this weekend to sit down and put words together, but I hope to have something to share before it is over.

Kim Russell said...

I'm sorry I'm so late adding my sonnet, reading and commenting but I've been in Oxford since Thursday night. I thought I'd be back a little earlier but just got home in pouring rain! I spent some time in the Ashmolean Museum, looking at a whole range of interesting stuff from Egyptian mummies to modern art, and the two main libraries in Oxford: the famous Bodleian Library, full of history and beautiful architecture, and the New Bodleian, also known as the Weston Library, where I saw a great exhibition on women, from Sappho to Suffragette, but couldn't get into the Tolkien exhibition as it was far too busy. I am really looking forward to reading the sonnets this afternoon, and getting back to normal with our two cats: we collected them from the cattery on the way home and are in need of some cat cuddles!

Jim said...

I'm envious, Kim. We were with friends from Towster (Northamptonshire) and he drove us through Oxford but we didn't even stop for us to touch the dirt. But we do get a long hour a week visiting Oxford on TV with Inspector Lewis. Thanks for the Sonnet assignment. I enjoyed making rhyme again though a little was "loose rhyme." A lot of the stuff I write is 14 lines but eight syllables instead of ten. Thank you again. I'm still jealous.
..

Susie Clevenger said...

Thank you for the inspiration. I doubt mine is much like a sonnet, but it is a poem of color.

Kerry O'Connor said...

So very late for the weekend challenge and a little early for Tuesday...

Linda Lee Lyberg said...

I'm late, but had to give this a try. Thanks Kim, for the wonderful challenge.