Poiesis, a Sonnet

If I may trace my youth in one Prelude
And on conceit of love my ink may flow
Yet reason I in mindset less than trued
My word is through a glass of darkened glow
If I shall cast my soul on spears of grass
And fathom every fork of paths diverged
Yet oft should I my principle harass
My magnum opus is as grand as scourged
If I on Albion tale at epic lengths
And chant to Paradise’s loss and gain
Yet I devoid my verse its moral strengths
My eloquence is but at best in vain
For neither rhymes nor forms a verse refine
Whence will and ills of mine alone define


Colin Lee


In spite of the conclusive couplet, on second thought, an occasional exploit of classical rhymes and forms might nevertheless refine a mind of fatigued will and fatuous ills … or not.

Photo Courtesy: deviantart.net

38 thoughts on “Poiesis, a Sonnet

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    1. Thank you! Yes and no. Work as an expat of some sort. Glad to be out and home tomorrow. This is the reason you don’t see me showing up at our friends’ in blogspot, which is blocked over here. 😦


      1. Four years. Where about?
        As modifier, one would say “網絡” (or “网络” in mutilated Chinese) so not to miss out the sense of “inter-networking”, for “網 / 网” only means “net / web”. The convention nickname however would be “防火長城 / 长城” or “防火牆城 / 墙城” (to pun on the Great Wall). I agree with you and pray WP will continue to be spared, although I should refrain from commenting too much while still on this side of the wall!


      2. Haha, “mutilated Chinese.” You must be either an academic or Taiwanese, or both! Thanks for the lesson. What is the pinyin for the character before 城,the one with the radical 回 ?我 住在了成都、重庆 还有 湖南省衡阳市。不好意思我写的汉字,很长时间没有写了或者说了。您在那部分?Feel free to not comment on that side of the wall, ha.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Neither an academic nor Taiwanese. A proud speaker of old Chinese, not the “modern” manchurian variant, though I’m compelled to speak it fluently too. With my family spread all over the world (Taiwan included), I’m rather rootless myself, at the moment based in Hong Kong. You might notice from my last post I have also a home in England. Sichuan and Hunan? I see you have an affinity for the chilli pepper. Did you work as an English teacher?

        Here’s the continuation of your free language lesson:
        “牆” (wall) is pronounced as “qiang2” in mongrel Chinese. The radical is neither “回” (to return / revert) nor “土” (clay), as implied by the … ahem … mitilated variant, but in fact “爿” (plank). “牆” is a homophone with “長” (as adjective “long”, not as verb “growth”), thus the pun “牆城” — whereby “防火牆” is a direct translation of “firewall”.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. So sorry, unexpected visitors last night have made me rather late in responding to your piece. This is so evocative of classical literature, I just soaked it all up – Terrific!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, sir! Thrilled to know my modest piece has caught your attention. As I mentioned to Bjorn, I felt terribly sheepish on alluding to the classics. How blessed and humbled I am to find it well received by you veterans … phew! By the way, I realised you live in Hertfordshire, my second home from which I returned only earlier this week! Small world, good neighbour! Anyway, thank you for dropping by. Your terrific feedback is greatly appreciated!


    1. Thank you for your compliment and for addressing the message of my poem. Towards some postmodernist views that meanings are relative, I am personally more than reserved. Should it be a reason that our world is now tossed into this stormy sea without any reliable, definitive moral compass? Well, as a novice in poetry, I have little permission to answer the question. I’m nevertheless compelled by this conviction, as you found in this poem, that our craft ought to be a carrier for our message and serve a purpose beyond itself (and ourselves). I think that is why poetry, throughout most of our history, had always been a driving force of cultural progress. Well, not so sure about today though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is always a joy to read your poems. With this piece, I especially liked the last four lines. As indeed, that part of the poet’s soul that is imprinted on the poem gives the poem its wings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Imelda. It’s always a joy and privilege to have you read my works. As the saying goes, “the messenger is the message”, the strength of poetry, I suppose, lies within the poet. While today we might be painting wings on our works, it’ll be down to the appraisal of history for setting them aloft. I hope when the day comes, mine will fly. 😉


  3. This is the best modern-day sonnet I’ve ever read, and I love your allusions to the greats! Revisiting the traditional forms of poetry keeps the mind sharp, I believe. Doing it well requires a great deal of effort, and you did it quite well. You have inspired me to try again.

    Liked by 1 person

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