Poetry Friday: “Talking About the Day”

For the past week or so, I have been attempting to write a sonnet. It is not going well. I have counted syllables, tapped stresses, and written lists of rhyming words. I have read sonnets. I have read about writing sonnets. This has not helped. But I am not giving up.

Among the many sonnets I’ve read, I found this little gem, which seems to be lacking a few characteristics of a sonnet, in the Poetry Foundation’s sonnet collection.

“Talking About the Day”
by Jim Daniels

Each night after reading three books to my two children–
we each picked one–to unwind them into dreamland,
I’d turn off the light and sit between their beds
in the wide junk-shop rocker I’d reupholstered blue,
still feeling the close-reading warmth of their bodies beside me,
and ask them to talk about the day–we did this,
we did that, 
sometimes leading somewhere, sometimes
not, but always ending up at the happy ending of now.
in still darkness, listening to their breath slow and ease
into sleep’s regular rhythm.

Read the rest of the poem here.

Please be sure to visit Jone Rush MacCulloch at Deowriter for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

15 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Talking About the Day”

  1. It is so exacting to write a sonnet. I’ve written a few & have no real advice. Sometimes it feels like it works, sometimes not. This one captures a wonderful moment and thought, ‘But how it calmed us then, rewinding’. Thanks, Catherine!


  2. Good luck with your sonnet, Catherine. I’ve written two and both of them took me considerable time and effort. The one you’ve shared seems all the richer for bending the sonnet “rules.” There’s a lovely, natural flow to it and so many lines to love. The line that Linda wrote jumped out at me, as did this one, “always ending up at the happy ending of now.” Thanks for sharing this heart-warming, poignant sonnet–how I remember those warm little bodies!!


  3. Good luck with your sonnet writing. I’ve written a few but never satisfactorily, to my mind. But the exercise of working with any form is a good one, I think. I love the one you’ve shared.My favourite images is “rewinding
    the gentle loop”


  4. “The happy ending of now.” Such a lovely line. Sonnets are so hard. I haven’t written another one since the two attempts this summer. I look forward to hearing about your process when we meet.


  5. Oh, my goodness….you must run over to Irene’s blog to see how perfectly this poem matches what she and Iphigene have offered there. I have no doubt of your ability to nail that sonnet. You are one of my favorite writers. I hope you let us see it soon!


  6. Fantastic ending. Thanks for sharing it, and good luck with your quest! I have never written a sonnet, but I guess I should. Maybe I will someday if I am sending you a poem for a swap — only *you* can get me to write a sonnet, Catherine!


  7. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve attempted a sonnet since high school English class, which alas I think knocked all the confidence right out of me! Perhaps I should give it another go, since there’s no teacher with a red pen marking my work nowadays!


  8. Oh sonnets are hard–at least I find them difficult. Good luck as you continue to work on yours. Thank you for sharing “Talking about the Day.” It does bring back memories.


  9. Yeah, it’s not entirely a traditional sonnet, but oh, it’s so lovely. Thank you for sharing it. And hey, the sonnet form has a lot of variety to it, as this one illustrates. Maybe if you relax a little about the syllables and the stresses, yours will come more easily. I know it will be great! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  10. Love this poem! (But look, he didn’t give himself the extra challenge of rhyming! Maybe you don’t need to on your first sonnet?) Good luck with yours… You are 10 steps ahead of me as I have never attempted to write a sonnet!


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