Sonnet II: His Passion

I hear it in his song, as I perform;
With expectation, I anticipate
What challenge wrought that worthy hands conflate.
What fingers, nimble, delicate, and warm,

What mastery was he seeking to transform?
I hear him call, with each I recreate,
And call again with Phrygian passion.  Great,
I hear him call, as doth a raging storm.

I hear it in the sadness and the joy,
As in capriciousness, or wayward games;
I hear it gravely serious, then coy;
In every moment, hear how it proclaims.

The instant when the Andaluz appears,
I hear it, sweet as sin, across the years.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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6 responses to “Sonnet II: His Passion

  1. I keep coming back to this piece. I can see her small fingers dancing across the keys – striving to master the gifts, the treasures, that he brings her. I think of how these treasures will sustain her in the trials to come. How they will speak for her, perhaps allowing her to express and unburden her full heart when words would be cumbersome or unseemly. A gift for a queen.

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  2. Yes, this one is particularly rich, spanning a whole gulf, or myriad of references in time and emotion. I noticed you were keen, as a craftsman, to take particular pride in getting the rhythm just right – I find the contextual approach when reading your poetry to be immediately beneficial: I know the movement of the words across their lines take care of themselves, and anyway, I am given to pause where I want to enjoy and mull over, so the richness and depth is what impresses frst – thus my pleasure here.

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    • There is a bit of mischief in this one and in its predecessor. They both regard the same subject, however the first one, having more constraint than this offering, was a far greater challenge; as, the first letters of all its complete lines–i.e. all those lines not preceded by carryover beats (there is one line with only nine syllables; however it is preceded by a line with eleven) spell the name of one of the subjects. That one took me into mythology and geography, and even heraldry, as well as music and archaic forms of dance, demonstrating, yet again, the myriad ways in which sonnet writing is a vehicle to expand the mind. It even has a flip from iambic (feminine, second syllable accented) to trochaic (masculine, or first syllable accented)

      Regarding Princess Maria Barbara, of Portugal, (The Princessa Infanta betrothed to Crown Prince Ferdinand the Wise of Spain–and who did, indeed become his queen) and her lifetime master of music, composer Domenico Scarlatti, there is absolutely nothing indicating any greater love between them than that of master and student. Yet it is something upon which to muse; as after all, he did return to her service after having been her instructor for much of her youth. It begs a “what if” story to be written about them.

      On the one hand, although she never traveled anywhere without him–and her King was quite enamored of him, as well–there really is no credible evidence of anything more.

      On the other hand, it is most difficult to imagine a man writing 555 sonatas all dedicated to a woman he did not love.

      But the truth of this must exist only in our imaginations.

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    • I do like repeated figures and have written a number of sonnets containing them. I have not written a villanelle, but am experimenting with a similar form of sonnet length, as well as one which is the length of two sonnets.

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