July 11, 2014

Stretched by a New Style: The Sonnet by Connie Inglis

This summer I set the goal of reading and working through the book, Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen. The exercises have been both instructive and fun, although I'm not near as far along in the book as I'd like to be. Sometimes life just gets in the way and I need to be content in that.

With this month's challenge of trying something new in my writing, I thought I'd be more deliberate in writing rhyming poems instead of free verse. To be more specific, I thought I'd try writing sonnets throughout the summer, something I've never intentionally focused on. This has definitely been stretching for me. I've been re-reading many of Shakespeare's sonnets for inspiration and have fallen in love, once again, not only with the iambic pentameter that floats the reader on but also with the poignant word choice and deeper meaning behind each word and each rhyme. Shakespeare was a genius! My attempts are feeble in comparison but they are attempts, nonetheless, and so I press on.

Last week I attended my nephew's baptism. It was a beautiful celebration. A few months ago my nephew's mom and I discussed how the pre-baptism and post-baptism time can be difficult because Satan does NOT like this outward proclamation of faith. In fact, he hates it. My nephew needed to be aware of this attack, to stand firm in Jesus' love and be ready to fight. The following sonnet comes out of this discussion. It too reflects the battle we have as writers to fight the darkness with our words and to do it because He loves us and we love Him.

For Love, In Love -- 1 John 4:13-19

Unknown servant enlists and arms for war,
With shield and double sword prepared to fight,
Spurred on by faithful ones who've gone before,
Against dark, evil foe in Spirit's might.
He questions not his good and righteous King
And sacrificial Son who speaks his name;
This spoken Word gives strength and joy to sing,
In defense, offense, watchman--he remains.
The enemy quits not, his hate severe,
To cut the soldier down, to cause to fail;
Then soldier cries the Name dispelling fear,
In life or death his peace and hope prevail.
In love the soldier heeds the battle call,
For Love has paid the price and won for all.


  1. I love the sonnet form and you have done it well! I hope you have a lovely poetic summer as you shine for God. Poetry can be such a powerful, inspiration-tool! I pray your nephew can stand strong in battle. We should pray for youth everywhere. They have it ROUGH!!(partly because true, godly examples are getting harder to find)

    I'm going to see if I can find that book somewhere. Thank-you for sharing.

  2. I've seen that book by Sage Cohen, and thought of getting it. Is it useful?

    Lovely sonnet, Connie. You've drawn attention to a seldom mentioned aspect of baptism and in 14 concise lines. Great job!

  3. Thanks Janet and Violet. Your encouragement means SO MUCH to me because you are both amazing poets.

  4. I tip my hat to you, Connie (if I was wearing one). You've done an excellent job, and the message is beautifully encapsulated. Bravo.

  5. Oh my--I just noticed an error. In the 7th line, the word should be "gives" not "given."

  6. Beautifully done, Connie!

  7. No doubts about your progress in the journey!

  8. I love sonnets but have only written a couple. It's not easy to write a complete story in fourteen lines. Stirring thoughts, well done!

  9. I sure enjoyed this!
    Pam Mytroen

  10. Thanks Bobbi, Vickie, Sandra, Norford, Carol and Pam. Your comments do my heart good. :)

  11. Great job Connie. I am no poet but O how your words spring forth and stroke my soul. I feel like I am all prepared for battle, thanks to your post! Well done and how lovely to be inspired in such a special moment.


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