Sunday, September 19, 2010

Leaving - My Poem Writing Year #173

Students - sometimes you can find a poem idea in a book you are reading.  That's what happened with this one.  I have been reading a wonderful adult novel, HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, by Jamie Ford.  This book is about many things, but much of it is about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.  Lately I cannot get this book out of my mind, and as I wrote, it just crept in and said, "Write about me!"

Reading some of the sad departure scenes in this book made me think about how many people throughout history have been forced to leave their homes: to find political freedom, as prisoners of war, to find new work and land, to help their families.  Writing last night, I imagined one woman leaving her home.  And I imagined her as every-woman, throughout many times and places.  So, if you didn't know who the poem was about as you read...that's good!  I'm not sure either.

This poem is a Shakespearean sonnet, a very particular form with a specific rhythm and rhyme scheme.  If you look at the end words, you can figure out how the rhyme works.  You can also figure out how many syllables are in each line by tapping your desk or your hand.  This is how I count syllables.  My fingers are always tapping, even when I'm listening to country music while driving!  They tap, tap, tap away on the steering wheel.  If you'd like to read about the form of a sonnet, you can do so at Wikipedia.

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. My bookclub may be reading this book next month!

  2. These lines feel like a woven piece to me; the way they fit together, the rhythm and the rhymes and the finishing. The sonnet form is a remarkable way to tell a story. Thanks yet again, Amy, for broadening the poetic horizon!

  3. Lori, It's haunting and beautiful. I'd vote for it. A.
    Cecilia, Thank you - this means so much to me. Do you write sonnets? They are tricky and comforting at the same time...they lull you in. A.