Shadow shade

The dverse prompt is to write a shadow sonnet. It’s not a form that says much to me, so here’s a straightforward sonnet instead. About shadows.

Shadow shade

Among the winter trees with damp-black bark,
Across the rustling sea of last year’s leaves,
Between the hours slipping, light to dark,
A shadow-crowd of black-veiled widows grieves.
Who stole the light and left us with the shade?
What false Prometheus damped the kindled blaze
And turned earth’s face away, from summer made
A time of cruel claws and frost-bound days?
I hear black winter’s teeth grind in the howl
Of storm winds, driving darkness through the trees,
When shades of famine-boned follow the owl
To find the longed-for honeysuckle breeze.
Yet winter shadows shrink and melt like snow,
In summer shade the white wood flowers glow.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

13 thoughts on “Shadow shade”

  1. I’m fascinated by shadows and sonnets are fine, but the prompt seemed a bit much to me. I like what you did. Such fabulous images–the grinding of black winter’s teeth, and the “famine-boned” following the owl to the honeysuckle breeze.
    I’m reading a novel in which people are hiding in the forests of eastern Europe during WWII. Somehow you channeled that. 😀

    1. I think I just have a horror of big cold and I assume everything else does too 🙂
      It’s hard enough to write a proper sonnet. Maybe we ought to try and master that first before adding frills to it. Just writing in metre seems beyond many of us, as does hearing rhymes. I did have another think about it this morning, just as a mental challenge. What came out was more like a confession under torture than a spontaneous poem!

      1. I wonder if it’s because it’s a form invented 500/600 years ago, when people spoke differently, the language was different and ideas about poetry were different. They barely had prose then. Like Japanese poetry. It somehow doesn’t seem relevant to us brought up in a western culture.

      2. Yes, that might be true, too. I think sometimes, too, people use “old-fashioned” words in sonnets to make it fit, but to me, it just sounds forced.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s