Sonnet: A Nightingale’s Song of Stars

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.

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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 

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Singing Nightingale Original Oil Painting by Laura Milnor Iverson

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? 

Author: seirich

I'm a mother, writer & dreamer living north of New Orleans, La. I love writing, music, theater, travel and my family. I've written and published four books of poetry and a children's novel: Tiger Kingdom & The Book of Destiny. I'm now working on a second children's novel.

8 thoughts on “Sonnet: A Nightingale’s Song of Stars”

  1. I do like myself a romantic sonnet.. and this one is swooning… when I write sonnets I usually end up writing them on dark or even political subjects (though it’s probably not correct).. I think venturing to form is great, if nothing else I find it sharpens free-verse. And Nightingales is a wonderful subject.

  2. I enjoy trying sonnets now and then. I used to be afraid to, imagining they would be very difficult, but when Sam Peralta was a presenter at dVerse Poets Pub, he taught us several different kinds and made it all seem easy – and so it was.

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