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Early Poems XIX

EARLY POEMS XIX 130 Refuted by Michael R. Burch My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red ... — Shakespeare, Sonnet 130 Seas that sparkle in the sun without its light would have no beauty; but the light within your eyes is theirs alone; it owes no duty. And that flame, not half as bright, is meant for me, and brings delight. Coral formed beneath the sea, though scarlet-tendriled, cannot warm me; while your lips, not half so red, just touching mine, at once inflame me. And the searing flames your lips arouse fathomless oceans fail to douse. Bright roses’ brief affairs, declared when winter comes, will wither quickly. Your cheeks, though paler when compared with them?—more lasting, never prickly. And your cheeks, so dear and warm, far vaster treasures, need no thorns. Originally published by Romantics Quarterly I believe I wrote this poem as a college freshman; if not as a freshman, then definitely by my sophomore year. I composed my refutation in my head as I walked back to my dorm from an English class where I had read Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130.” This was my first attempt at a sonnet, but I dispensed with the rules, as has always been my wont. With my daughter, by a waterfall by Michael R. Burch By a fountain that slowly shed its rainbows of water, I led my youngest daughter. And the rhythm of the waves that casually lazed made her sleepy as I rocked her. By that fountain I finally felt fulfillment of which I had dreamt feeling May’s warm breezes pelt petals upon me. And I held her close in the crook of my arm as she slept, breathing harmony. By a river that brazenly rolled, my daughter and I strolled toward the setting sun, and the cadence of the cold, chattering waters that flowed reminded us both of an ancient song, so we sang it together as we walked along ?unsure of the words, but sure of our love? as a waterfall sighed and the sun died above. This poem was published by my college literary journal, Homespun, in 1977. I believe I wrote it the year before, around age 18. Keywords/Tags: early, early poems, juvenilia, sun, red, lips, seas, light, flame, fire, oceans, roses, thorns, winter, cheeks, waterfall, daughter, rose, roses are red

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