Kilmer’s Sonnet

Two quatrains plus two tercets
Rhyme scheme: abba baab cdc dcd
Volta at or following line 9

The Kilmer Sonnet was patterned after the following poem.

“Alarm Clocks” ~~ Joyce Kilmer
When Dawn strides out to wake a dewy farm
Across green fields and yellow hills of hay
The little twittering birds laugh in his way
And poise triumphant on his shining arm.
He bears a sword of flame but not to harm
The wakened life that feels his quickening sway
And barnyard voices shrilling “It is day!”
Take by his grace a new and alien charm.

But in the city, like a wounded thing
That limps to cover from the angry chase,
He steals down streets where sickly arc-lights sing,
And wanly mock his young and shameful face;
And tiny gongs with cruel fervor ring
In many a high and dreary sleeping place.
Originally I attributed this form to Jose Rizal M. Reyes of the Philippines, as the Morya’s Double Lock.

I found out in October 2014, that Joyce Kilmer beat him to it.

My example

Morning’s Gift (Kilmer’s Sonnet)

I catch a fleeting glimpse- a waking dream
of sirens frolicking to start their day.
They’re full of joy, it seems that they’re at play;
I want to join them in the nearby stream.

I often wave with hopes that one will stay
but they all vanish in the rising steam.
They are but a mirage, so it would seem,
but still I’m buoyed by morning’s brief ballet.

I don’t despair their passing from my sight
the morn is brighter, sound now come awake;
as critter scamper, pretty birds take flight.

If fantasy, or optical mistake
it none-the-less says things have started right.
and for a dreamer, that’s a decent break.

© Lawrencealot – November 14, 2013

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