General Poetry posted December 4, 2020

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A Fusion Sonnet for the Potlach Club


by tfawcus

A small wind blows, and ripples spread
across the stream concealing weeds she wore,
bending blighted sedges on the shore:
grave are the sins she answered for.
These undulations splinter life. A head
with pallid, moonlit visage stares,
unseeing through the clinging, flaxen hairs
that swirl unhurriedly, like the ebb and flow of prayers.

Is this the weeping willow tree?
Was drowning her escape from destiny?

Manipulated by constraints of courtly life,
divided from herself by circumstance,
constricted by a cruel and morbid prince,
she was driven to this tragic end at last.

A small wind blows, and ripples spread.
This tragic death asserted women's rights,
foreshadowed future struggles, future plights
of troth, with women no longer bonded to obey.
Love and honour, yes - providing it's two-way.
Together take the ups and downs of fate but, without equality,
these undulations splinter life ahead.



The Fusion Sonnet was invented by Poet Laureate, Sonnet Mondal, an eminent name in the arena of world poetry and literature. He published seventy of them in 2010 in a book entitled Twenty-one lines Fusion Sonnets of 21st Century.

It breaks several Traditional Sonnet rules. Most notably, it has twenty-one lines rather than the typical fourteen. The Fusion comes from blending in four lines of Free Verse at Lines 11 through 14. It has a strict structure and rhyme scheme but is more flexible in the area of meter where the lines may be of variable length and rhythm. Here are the complex rules:

A 14-line Poem is followed by a Half Sonnet of 7 lines acting as a coda or tail to add additional stability to the poem. No particular meter is followed, "fusing" it with the modern Free Verse style.

First fourteen lines:
*The 1st and 5th lines rhyme, and the 9th and 10th lines are a rhyming couplet.
*Same rhyme in 2nd,3rd & 4th lines.
*Same rhyme in 6th,7th & 8th lines. So: A1 b b b A2 c c c,

*Rhetorical questions in 9th & 10th lines.

*Negative and pessimistic note in the first 10 lines.

*Free Verse in 11th, 12th,13 & 14th Lines. Relates back to something similar.
* * * * *
*Line 15 repeats Line 1.
*Next seven lines:-The Half Sonnet, which acts as a Coda.
*Same rhyme in 16th and 17th lines.
*Same rhyme in 18th and 19th lines.
*Line 20 acts as a volta
*Line 21 repeats Line 5.

Hamlet Act 4 Scene 7
There is a willow grows aslant a brook
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do 'dead men's fingers' call them.
There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide

Image: Photo by Alice Alinari on Unsplash

Club entry for the "~ Fusion Sonnet ~ week of 12-2-2020" event in "Potlatch Poetry".  Locate a writing club.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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