A Year of Sonnets

November: A Sonnet

By Henry Allen | November 5, 2018
Flickr/Amanda Capasso
Flickr/Amanda Capasso

When I say “October,” the word evokes different memories and emotions than when I say “April.” Over the course of my career, I’ve written about a range of feelings—relief, despair, the hope and horror of love—in poetry, reporting, and prose. As part of a yearlong series for the Scholar, each month I’ll contribute a new poem to a sonnet cycle, marking the changing seasons in the rhyme and meter of an Elizabethan sonnet.




Now twilight dogs the fearful afternoon,
At night, new winter constellations float
like dust on nothingness behind the moon,
dry as last winter’s Kleenex in your coat.
Thanksgiving, plaid, red cheeks, the grass still green
but dying under echoes of bare trees –
skim ice and flurries in a glorious scene
of detritus, sad valedictories.
Up in the orchard, windfall apples stink.
A wounded buck sprints, staggers, falls and lies
awaiting you, his bright, dark blood, tongue pink.
You see yourself reflected in his eyes.
The majesty of wool, Orion, death—
you stare in wonder at your plumes of breath.

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