Since most of my poetic life has been written in free verse and prose, this poem was a journey in working with structure and rhyme. To pair rhyme with a nightingale’s song seemed natural, as did the moody, dreamy nature of the night sky under which I wrote. Sonnets are melodic poems that include 14 lines written in a specific rhyme scheme or pattern — I’ve used a couplet scheme in this poem (AA, BB, CC, DD…). Perhaps the sonnets that I am most familiar with (as I’d wager, are many of you) are Shakespearean sonnets, and I also studied those of English romantic poets Keats, Shelley and Wordsworth in college. However, studying them and writing about them didn’t translate then into me writing my own. I was a scholar, but not a writer of their rhymes. My musical nature aside, I find them a challenge – likely because I still see and hear so many incomparably beautiful ones belonging to such famous pens of years ago even as I write.
Sonnet: A Nightingale’s Song of Stars
Silvery bright waves of energy streak through the sky
making maps of starry-prints as they fly.
Weaving sparkling patterns of angels dust in night
lovers wishes carried on wings of moonlight.
Among the starry-eyed dreamers with their fairy tales
can be heard the lyrical song of a nightingale.
Her voice honeyed beauty, liquid candy in diamond sky
melodies float down clouds like healing rain and gentle sigh.
Arms outstretched, wishing to capture the magic she brings
on the winds of whispers and pink gossamer wings.
Spinning heaven’s tapestry, rainbows of shimmering light
like golden secrets, she brings beauty to shadows of night.
Moon casts a brilliant glow over vast starry-streams
catching bits of nightingale’s song, she sparkles and gleams.
Copyright July 2 2016 Stacie Eirich
The idea to write a sonnet came to me after hearing a short segment on NPR titled “Human or Machine: Can you tell who wrote these poems?” 6 Sonnets were presented to a panel of judges who were then asked to distinguish which were written by humans vs computers. Can computers capture both the rhythm and emotions of a sonnet?
The answer is not surprising. I took the quiz before even listening to the segment, and easily guessed all 6 correctly, as I am sure many readers can. Poetry is unique to humans because of our experiences and emotions — the two things that machines (at least, for now) cannot understand.
Take the quiz and listen to the fascinating segment here: Human or Machine: Can you tell who wrote these poems?