Sonnet to the Island of San Miguel, The Azores, The Atlantic.

It’s Open Link night at Dverse Poets and a chance to share some of our own poetry. I have been trying to develop my skills at sonnets and odes ever since attending a poetry workshop run by the poet Daljit Nagra at Keat’s House, London.

On our way back from our adventures in the Azores I thought  I should write my own sonnet sequence to a country I love. Portugal!  I have three under way but the sonnet form does require steady concentration and still needs to capture my true intentions.  We watched some children playing with a dog when they should be at school and saw another side to an island paradise of poverty in a fishing town. We also discovered how much of the original forest has been lost and the threats to nature there. San/ Sao Miguel in the Azores is a microcosm reflecting our macrocosm of Planet Earth. Inside the core is violent heat ready to burst out through volcanic eruptions.

Islands like San/Sao Miguel have been formed by volcanoes and over millennia slowly bloomed into vibrant life.

Sonnet 1

To Sao Miguel

O mild isle wherein hides hidden heat

From deep within your cratered core

Volcanic lava could spit more

But Furness folk stew pots for us to eat

For tourists need to taste a special treat

Or poise on whaling boats awash off shore

Where from calm sea we can say we saw

The ones that fathom deep in 20 thousand feet.

O living sea, a vast unknown, give us a sign

That whales, free from pain can roam to Arctic North.

Darkening beaches, black basalt, glossed with brine

Greet birds flying from the cold Antarctic south

And on shore too, may San Miguel protect its own,

From fisher folk to tiny bird, keep vibrant green on red hot mouth.

 

Georgina Wright  January 2016

Bubbling hot geysers from volcanic activity. You can have a stew cooked inside one of those holes!
Bubbling hot geysers from volcanic activity. You can have a stew cooked inside one of those holes!

 

More of the waterfall valley
More of the waterfall valley
The glossy black basalt rocks with tears of brine. See image poem!
The glossy black basalt rocks with tears of brine. See image poem!
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37 thoughts on “Sonnet to the Island of San Miguel, The Azores, The Atlantic.”

  1. Beautiful vibrant pictures and I specially like this part of the sonnet:

    O living sea, a vast unknown, give us a sign

    From fisher folk to tiny bird, keep vibrant green on red hot mouth.

    Congrats on writing one as I know it is a challenge to write sonnets ~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bjorn, & others, love the sonnet form. Yours is lovely & exotic, well written so that the form does not dominate the message. I’ve become enamored of the Haibun, in its many guises.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the “stuff” of your sonnet. Not sure you shouldn’t revisit it though. Since you stuck to the rhyme scheme, I am thinking you wanted it to be traditional. I am aware that sonnets are now more free; however, throughout the first stanza you wrote in tetrameter, following with some pentameter though with an extra hard syllable or two and then in the end had a number of hexameter lines. I think the poem could be tighter and more of a sonnet song if you tightened up the meter just a bit. It is a beautiful draft – just a teensy bit more work on finding the perfect words I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I felt it getting longer to the end but there was more to say! I did want to try rhyme schemes and that might have affected the line length. I will revisit as I want to see if I can grasp this form. Malcolm Guite is a poet and his sonnets just seem to work. He blogs too.

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  4. I think you did a very well with this sonnet. You make me wish I’d visited Sao Miguel. Sadly, I’ve never been to the Azores, and actually barely been to Portugal. I did spend four or five days visiting a friend in Oporto about 25 years ago, though. I thought it was an absolutely beautiful place and I’d love to go back some day if I ever have the chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We loved the poems about the ravens as Gastradamus. We are spreading the word about it right now on my blog. We feel that you have the potential to be one of our most talented critics. If you have the time and would to be part of the take then please comment on all of my stories at gastradamus. Poets are needed, so at least we know they are being honest with us. Take care and the guest at Gastradamus at expecting you.

    Liked by 1 person

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