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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Death of a Brother: 14 lines after 13 years

 I am participating in Poetry Friday for the 2nd week in a row.  Last week I contributed this sonnet  and mentioned I had written a 2nd sonnet with the exact same first line

One of the many differences between this sonnet and last week's is that today's is an Italian sonnet and the first one was an Elizabethan sonnet.  Each one has 14 lines but the rhyme scheme varies.  Today's sonnet has the rhyme scheme ABBA ABBA CDE CDE.

Death of a Brother

14 lines after 13 years


The time we're given  is quite brief
For some, it's much too short
One April morn I got the report
I'd lost my brother Keith

Such news was so beyond belief
That I had no retort
Of snappy comebacks, I'd fallen short
So anguished by my grief

My brother died in a nursing home
At the age of thirty-eight
While he was watching M*A*S*H

13 years later as I write this poem
Though my grief is not as great
My heart still bears the gash

As I mentioned last week, in my opinion, this is the lesser of the two sonnets.  Maybe I feel that way because it's so personal.  

Buffy Silverman is hosting Poetry week, click here to see more.  

9 comments:

Linda Mitchell said...

I'm sorry you lost your brother. The detail of hearing the news while watching a mundane television show makes it relatable to me. It brings up my own memories. A beautiful sonnet. I'll choose personal over technically correct any day.

Linda B said...

That feeling of loss and wanting to respond to it never goes away. The small details bring us to your feelings, Dave, begs the question I think we all feel about loss, "How can this be?" I am sorry for your sad loss and love that you've written about your brother.

Buffy Silverman said...

You express your grief beautifully in this sonnet--the ordinariness of watching Mash, the passage of time, the fresh waves of sorrow.

laurasalas said...

Dave, I wasn't here last week, but always fun to welcome a new Poetry Friday-er into our midst. I'm so sorry for the loss of your brother. I actually find this sonnet MORE powerful than the first one, because there's something about the details...38, M*A*S*H, nursing home. They make this poem, the scene, and its grief much more visceral for me. Thanks for sharing this.

Carol Varsalona said...

While it is good to meet you, Dave, I am sorry for the loss of your brother. It is so difficult to The details within your poem are troubling, especially since your brother was so young and in a nursing home. Thank you for sharing your grief through poetry.

Mary Lee said...

Maybe what makes it hard for you to love this poem is that you have taken something huge and wedged it into a small container. Maybe grief doesn't rhyme. And yet, as Laura commented, the details bring power to your writing. For me, "14 lines after 13 years" is part of the gut punch of the poem. Condolences, and thank you for your vulnerability in sharing this.

Elisabeth said...

I love poetry as an outlet for thinking about things and processing feelings. Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal poem and your creative process with us. Wishing you comfort as you sit with this poem and your memories of your brother.

Bridget Magee said...

Wow on many levels, Dave. I'm sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing your journey to process it (via your poetry).

Patricia Franz said...

Hope your heart has grown bigger around that hole left by your brother. Thank you for sharing your sonnet.

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