And now for today’s (optional) prompt, inspired by Teicher’s poem “Son“. One thing you might notice about this poem is that it is sad, but that it doesn’t generate that feeling through particularly emotional words. The words are very simple. Another thing you might notice is that it’s a sonnet – not in strict iambic pentameter, but fourteen rhymed, relatively short lines.
Today, we’d like to challenge you to write your own sad poem, but one that, like Teicher’s, achieves sadness through simplicity. Playing with the sonnet form may help you – its very compactness can compel you to be straightforward, using plain, small words.
I used this opportunity to write a poem based on a real-life event. It could be considered as an obituary or a tribute. I never met this person but I’ve known him ever since I knew my husband. In some way, I had been proud to have been acquainted – proud to know he was my husband’s cousin.
I hadn’t met him before we wed
My ‘To-be’ husband’s cousin, on his father’s side
‘My brother’s in the Air-Force,’ of him he had said
And I told my parents of him, with the greatest pride
He didn’t attend our wedding
I so wished he would
He sent us a message, congratulating
I wanted to tell him it was an honor; if only I could
He’d returned, for a family reunion, the last I knew
‘Last month, after a posting in Israel,’ they said
Of those who couldn’t go, we were the unfortunate few
And then one night, we got a call; to say ‘He’s dead.’
I never met him -my husband’s cousin; now I never would
I didn’t get to tell him how he’d helped; now I never could
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