Aims, Goals, and Ambitions

This is my first submission to the Poetry Potluck Monday at—if I can get it posted; having a bit of difficulty finding this week’s submission point. Dang newfangled computer thingies. If I can’t fix it with a rock, I’m in trouble.

Aims, Goals, and Ambitions
by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by trepelv

Would ambition follow you down the street?
Call me ambition; that is what I do.
I dare to lower not my feckless aim
Lest it fall less than finally loving you.

How dare a god create beauty so fair;
To inflect such longing within my breast.
This distance game I’m forced to humbly play
Is Satan’s ill design, my will to test.

Pray thee, look back and catch my hungry gaze.
Reward ambition’s silent, forlorn cry,
For it is all I have, my soul to keep
And tis too weak to once again survive.

Oh, ambition, perhaps you saved the day.
Fair lady turned, and now she walks my way.

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9 Responses to Aims, Goals, and Ambitions

  1. vivinfrance says:

    To answer your first question, I used to have the same problem with Potluck Monday and eventually gave up, as I couldn’t keep up with the volume.

    Your ambition poem is beauifully constructed and eloquent, but I feel as though I am reading a nineteenth century poem! I should love to read a sonnet from you in a more modern style.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      The nineteenth century? How dare you. Have I told you how old I am. I used to have tea with the Bard.

      Well, it is true that the Bard taught me the sonnet, but I may have exaggerated a touch about the tea. Viv, I don’t know if I can do a modern sonnet. I began this one with that in mind, but I couldn’t make it fit. I simply didn’t feel it. It felt so twisted and strange that I fell back into iambic pentameter and the archaic voice. Still, I began this blog to try new things, so you are absolutely correct. I’ll have to find some modern sonnets and give them a read. Maybe I can absorb their flavor as I did with Shakespeare and E. B. Browning. Do you have any favorite writers?

  2. vivinfrance says:

    loads. Off the top of my head, Wendy Cope wrote some in Two Cures for Love. Simon Armitage and … The books are upstairs, I’m in bed downstairs and at 4am I’m not going creeping around the house. Tomorrow!
    PS although iambic pentameter is ‘t mandatory, it does seem to come automatically when sonneteering.

    • vivinfrance says:

      Here’s a link to a silly one of mine that you may not have read: Revolutionary Sonnet for Poetic Asides challenge. Other sources:
      Chapter 10 of Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled contains some very varied examples.

      I mentioned Wendy Cope’s book Two Cures for Love, in which there are some interesting sonnets: The Sitter – about a Nude painting of Vanessa Bell; Faint Praise, which cracks me up every time I read it. There are three examples from Strugnell’s Sonnets which are well worth a read. And finally, a brilliant sonnet based on homonyms, called Stress.

      Harry Patch, from Andrew Motion’s book The Cinder Path, is a series of 5 linked sonnets about the life of Britain’s oldest survivor from the first world war.

      There are loads of sometimes whacky sonnets in Tony Harrison’s selected poems. Is that enough to be going on with?

      • Mike Patrick says:

        Aye, enough and more, and the good news is the roads appear clear enough for a trip to the library. That is two whole days without snow falling, but we are supposed to get some more tonight. What better evening, than to be snowed in with a good book and a good wife? God is good.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      The process begins. Just by Googling “Modern Sonnets,” I was buried under enough to last me a century or so. So far, I’ve read thirty or so. Baby steps. Now, my problem begins when I go to bed. I lay there counting iambs as random verse goes flitting through what brain I have left, and iambs are not as effective a slumber producer as counting sheep.

  3. ladynimue says:

    I liked it .. i think it turned totally adorable after first few lines .. was there a sudden change of style or thought ,, i can not figure out .. but whatever it was, its lovely in the end 🙂

  4. Mike Patrick says:

    I’m hoping it was just those first lines being broken by the placement of the image I used. Should have used a smaller one.

    Update 2/13/11, I kept coming back to this and looking at that image. Finally decided to shrink it down a bit to smooth out the length of the lines. Thanks for pointing it out. I believe it is a little better now.

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