So these are the two sonnets Maura, Maria, James and Heather came up with. The prompts were ‘wonderful’, ‘hurt’, ‘whispers’ & ‘a tragic love story’. Since we were talking about Yeats earlier in the seminar, we went with the theme of fairies. When it’s finished it’ll be a wee sonnet cycle on the subject of a grove of fairies in the woods, and a young man who, tempted by the sweet music made by the small creatures, finds himself fatally enraptured by one of them. They work sooo much better when read aloud in unison, by the way. Kind of uncanny.
On the top of the hill the fairies play
Around the flowers they frolic and dance
And beckoning you close, they whisper “stay.”
Unwary travellers may take a chance
Follow the fairies wherever they go
Along the beauty of some ancient tune,
With glittering notes the stars start to glow.
While the sprites soak up the light of the moon
The Seelie Queen sits in her flowered shrine;
Her gentle smile, her sweet benevolence
Her beauty, her love and her kindness shine.
You slowly move forward with hesitance.
What you thought you saw was purer than gold,
But deep in the shadows are stories untold.
A tale passed down from each father to son,
A warning to all seduced by the call
Who blindly pursue what cannot be won–
The hearts of fairies in love will not fall.
One moonlit night a boy strays from the trail,
Drawn into the trees by enchanting sounds
He walks through and pulls back the willow veil.
Driven by desire he enters their bounds.
The fairest creature of alluring face
Came forth from darkness and ensnared his soul:
The maiden moves and sways with serene grace–
Stunning to see but her heart is a hole.
And now he will dance till the day he dies,
While fairies laugh as their song fills the skies.
In the deepest, darkest depths of the wood
There is a place to which the fallen go
When their footsteps no longer walk the earth:
A sad and ancient place misunderstood.
Some say it bears the most famous of graves,
A shrine to the fallen sprung up among trees;
A holy space for errant knights and knaves—
Those who met love’s cruel fate among the leaves.
In winter sprites will lay down white roses
As they sing out the sorrows of snowdrops,
Wishing for spring when lovers bring posies
And lovely the sound of all those blood clots:
For what mortal male would stand but a chance
With fairies who spin in such fatal dance?
Across the sweeping valleys, fields, and hills
Where children imagine, run, and play
Mothers warned, play out in fields if you will
But never in the faerie woods do stray.
And though they knew to heed their mother’s word
When dancing lights glittered in the darkness
And sweet strains played as they had never heard
The children ran to the shadows’ caress.
Merrily they skipped in time to the charm
There was not one boy or girl left behind
And their parents searched for them in alarm
Though nought but small footprints were there to find.
So never in the faerie woods do stray
For they will happily snatch you away.