Against The Tide – A Sonnet

For dVersePoets: Form For All– A Sonnet. This a form I don’t believe I have ever attempted before. There is significance in the fact that the word “his” is not capitalized in the second stanza. I did “cheat” once but couldn’t seem to get around it. This took me about 2 hours to write which is usually a sign that I am trying too hard. I will come back to this tomorrow. Incidentally I guess my rhyme scheme is totally off: ABBA CDDC EFEFEF Oh well!

These cold feet stick like a shy tongue in hide,
So unable to move forward despite
a heavy struggle towards the morning light,
Stuck in a thought facing a rising tide

As I was once taught, my arms push harder
against the grain of rain drops falling here,
My palms face up to catch the tears
to stop this flood, as his only daughter

To dig my heels in emotional sand,
To let go of fear and of self pity,
To grow up now / not down as He had planned,
To brave dark skies that crackle above me,
To reach up to the clouds to hold His hand,
And head to ground only my faith can see.

Gretchen Leary 2013


About Gretchen Venters

I am 36 years old and I live in Montana. God has set my soul on fire to serve others through writing.
This entry was posted in dVersePoets Prompt, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Against The Tide – A Sonnet

  1. Oh I can see the struggle in your words, not only form but a challenging subject.

  2. claudia says:

    letting go of self pity and fear and reaching up to hold his hands instead… a good deal…felt emotions in this..the struggle, unable to move..think you did a great job with the sonnet gretchen

  3. brian miller says:

    smiles….i would have caught the lower his, a very subtle separation between the two fathers? and hey dont sweat the rhyme scheme…these things are hard enough to pull off that is the last of my worries…smiles…and i believe form is only a suggestion, the poem is important…ha…faith allows us to face these things…and all too often our earthly fathers fall far short…being a father i am well aware of that…fear and self pity are def hard task masters as well…

  4. David King says:

    Great write – and great art was always a struggle. Well done.

  5. aprille says:

    Got stuck in line one when I read ‘tongue-in-cheek’ first time. That metaphor was getting physically complicated ๐Ÿ™‚
    Know what you mean, when verse doesn’t ‘come’ right away. But, this one repaid your efforts.

  6. I appreciate your effort dear. I specially like the opening lines, it caught my interest~
    When I first started writing poetry forms, my pattern was also off and it took me more than 2 hours.
    Wishing a happy and meaningful weekend ~


  7. Truedessa says:

    I enjoyed the poem well is sometimes hard to write in a structured form as we have to plan out a strategy. The poem still speaks..nice

  8. Mary says:

    I feel the emotional struggle in this poem, Gretchen. I always appreciate it greatly when someone shares something of a personal nature with such honesty as this one does!

  9. L says:

    Struggle, release…well done, you!

  10. nico says:

    Two hours–well, most of us wish we could turn out something like this in two hours! Excellent, and I especially like this line: My palms face up to catch the tears. Very nice!

  11. Beth Winter says:

    Two fathers! I felt strength in your poem. If two hours is trying too hard then I try too hard often ๐Ÿ™‚ well written.

    • Thank-you Beth. I was trying to create a visual about how sometimes the emotional muck we get stuck in is from our own inability to keep moving. Getting stuck and then trying to push your body through deep water in heavy wet clothes is no easy feat but its possible. Also, just moving your arms in water when youre pushing against the tide feels like pushing against a wall. I really wanted to capture that. If we could have had more lines I wanted to try to explain the lightness of laying on the beach afterwards drying out in the hot sun. You know that amazing sense of peace when you lay out in the sun after swimming in freezing cold water? Hard to get all of that into the form. Maybe I will write it out in my own style as well. That’s an idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I am so glad that you pointed out the difference between “his” and “His”, it is a subtle change that might be unnoticed, but makes for an amazing interpretation when you realize that you intended the poem this way. The closeness to the prescribed rhyme scheme – you have crafted a sonnet, a difficult form whatever the internal rhyme – is less material than the way that you sculpt the music. That final verse, with its repeated “To” refrain, is a powerful invocation of faith, of hope. Well done.

  13. kkkkaty1 says:

    Well I caught right away the comparison of the two fathers because I can relate…tell me if I am way off here; “against the grain of raindrops falling here, palms face up to catch the tears” wow, Gretchen.

  14. So glad you managed to get your sonnet together…so beautiful packed with such strong emotions, that last stanza is amazing, all the strength to rise above… well done!

    • Thank-you! I was trying to use the “To” repeatedly to sort of build up to the final line as in my head the thought of getting to higher ground sounds so peaceful ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. marousia says:

    Congratulations on your sonnet – I enjoyed reading this very much – I love the way you conveyed the emotional struggle

  16. Wyeth Bailey says:

    The first stanza is particularly evocative, although really throughout the poem, I felt downward pressure, trying to read my way through. It was a marvelous effect. Very well done. The only word that jarred me out of it was “emotional.” The shift out of the metaphor to more direct language at first bothered me, until I recalled and applied that the second part is the resolution, and then it worked for me, because it demonstrates a non-abstract understanding of the theme, and a hopeful resolution. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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