Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
Darkness encompassed me; high-vaulting fire
Leapt and burnt the vision from my gaze
But though I could not see, I strummed my lyre
Until the music swept away the haze
And I could stumble onwards through the mire.
Now I strum no more. What use are lays?
Save to remind me of my lost desire
That I betrayed--let silence fill my days!
For I, whose song once moved the gods to weep
No longer can make melodies from woe--
No dissonance expresses pain so deep
And no music can be as beautiful

As that which I have lost. Let others come
And fill the void with noise--I will not strum.
A sonnet from the perspective of Orpheus. This was inspired by music history, and all the hundreds of operas written about him.

And if it is really bad or missing a rhyme scheme or using wrong vocab or something, I have had very little sleep lately, and have lost my ability to judge, so please point it out!

And some questions:
What do you think of the question mark in the 6th line? Should it not be there/be an exclamation point instead?
Similarly, thoughts on the exclamation point in the 8th line?
Did you notice my meter-breaking? Did it bother you or did it fit?
What did you think of the couplet, especially the last line?

And anything else you noticed or want to point out would be great too. Thanks for you comments/critiques!

(for twr: [link])
(for wordsmith's guild: [link])

You can find the first draft of this sonnet here: [link]
EDIT: I also now have a companion piece to this sonnet; another sonnet from the perspective of Eurydice:
Eurydice His voice enveloped me, and I became
Myself again--I heard it in the song:
A mordent on a note he held too long;
A stutter in his voice. I heard my name
In these and felt a happiness the same
As when I saw him first. Oh, I had longed
To hear him sing again, but this last song--
It was so beautiful. And it remains
The best of human works, though none shall hear
Its sorrowed notes; the lyre's meand'ring tune
Through vast arpeggios and Death's expanse
Except the dead. It will not disappear
'Till death itself has failed, and hell's exhumed--
Such music must be worth a backwards glance.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconladyofgaerdon:
This is lovely. I especially like the couplet at the end - so final and desolate. It contrasts beautifully with the end of your "Eurydice" sonnet, which is almost hopeful. Was that contrast intentional?

I think the exclamation point and question mark were both properly used. I think the exclamation point especially lent urgency to the line. Though putting an exclamation point where your question mark is I think would not be a good choice. The question mark fits better, since the line is a question.

:o You broke meter? Seems I didn't notice...^^; I did like the slight off-rhyme of "woe" and "beautiful".

Thank you for keeping rhyming poetry alive and vibrant. :)
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
10 out of 11 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

Please sign up or login to post a critique.

:iconneo128:
Neo128 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2017   General Artist
Ha ha... Very coo... It figures Orpheus would be fascinated with visualizing his own personal form of existentialism... You could say he was mankind's first rock star. :D
Reply
:icontommyboywood:
tommyboywood Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Nice cadence and rhyme  
Reply
:iconkathrynlillie:
kathrynlillie Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
This is beautiful. Truly a painting with words!
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Student Writer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmystodraws:
MystoDraws Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Beautiful work! :)
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmystodraws:
MystoDraws Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
You're very welcome!
Reply
:iconacaciathorn:
Acaciathorn Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Exceptional!
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Student Writer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconthedorsai:
TheDorsai Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is the best example I've seen on this site of a sonnet using it's structure to aid in the telling of a story, as opposed to shaping it's form. Think of how animals create trails in the forest because that is the best way for them to travel as opposed to how the land is forced to certain shapes as a result of water's eroding effects. I would gladly perform your piece before others, especially as a duet with your companion sonnet. Inspired work.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it. :)
Reply
:icontushantin:
tushantin Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Professional General Artist
That... was beautiful. *wipes tear off eye*

The sixth line ending with a question mark is fine, as it pertains to questioning rather than stern decision. Though, I do suggest against the exclamation in the eighth line too, which seems to be more of a commandment of penalties upon himself.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you again for you helpful comments--I like how you described that line as a commandment. I will have to consider that.
Reply
:icontushantin:
tushantin Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
I remembered and loved this so much that I found myself returning to it again and again.

I do have a request: I'm trying to start up a Youtube account to display cinematic as an experimental form of art (using custom animations). Could I use your sonnet as the theme of the video? (Although I'm not certain when and how I'll be able to "start"; I'm still tinkering with how I can design and deliver content, and am currently in a technical phase)
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Student Writer
Sure, just give me credit and send me a link so I can see it when you're done. :) I'm glad you enjoy it so much!
Reply
:iconautumnlit:
autumnlit Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
Again, I read the other poem first, and this is fantastic. :hug:
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you, and thanks for the fav!
Reply
:iconautumnlit:
autumnlit Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012
You're welcome! =)
Reply
:iconsylvansmith:
SylvanSmith Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Great piece.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Student Writer
Thanks! :)
Reply
:iconsylvansmith:
SylvanSmith Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You are welcome.
Reply
:iconzireael07:
Zireael07 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is brilliant!
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you! I'm glad you like it. :)
Reply
:iconvampyricarts:
VampyricArts Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Perfect. Beautiful. So few words can encompas this poem.

(Caught my attention by the title as I know a ska band named Orpheus)
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:icontonguebox:
tonguebox Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011
I like this a lot! I've actually been reading Metamorphoses recently, so this was great. The only thing I would comment on is the middle portion ("Save to remind me of my lost desire/That I betrayed--let silence fill my days!"); something about the rhythm of that just seems off, and I felt like I sort of stumbled there in my reading. Excellent job though!
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmooyi:
Mooyi Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Student Writer
- first of all, loved the thought behind this poetry <3 I've always had a fascination with Orpheus, so I couldn't help but click on this piece when I saw the name. It was suitably heartbreaking and inspirational~ Definitely going in my faves!

- this is purely personal opinion, but I think that there should be no punctuation after "What use are lays?" Because it connects straight to the next line, which is "Save to remind me of my lost desire". If anything the question mark should go after "That I betrayed". I do however, also like the affect the two hyphens had, so it's your call :D

- as for the exclamation mark, I think it's fine where it is. It emphasizes the emotion in that line and for a musician like him, "let silence fill my days" is indeed a very emotional statement

- to be perfectly honest, I did get a little distracted by the meter-breaking haha; I still went on and read all the way until the end though, which goes to show that the content is more important and in this case, was worth reading despite the meter (plus I was pretty shocked that you managed to rhyme so many words without making it sound corny : P)

- extra note: I wasn't sure about whether "woe" and "beautiful" count as a rhyme... Hm...
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you, and for the fav! These are really great, helpful comments. :)
And yeah, rhyming can be very difficult. I do try my best to not make it sound corny or contrived, so I'm glad to hear you thought it was well done here. :) Thanks again!
Reply
:iconquiestinliteris:
QuiEstInLiteris Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Professional Writer
I always hate to leave short comments, but all I can say here is that this piece gave me goosebumps.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you, that's quite the compliment. :)
Reply
:iconjudah-leonardo:
Judah-Leonardo Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011   Writer
I just stumbled on this thanks to :iconeliteliterature: and I have to say that I was really rather tickled to discover a sonnet--I don't think *good* sonnets get enough attention on dA! Anyhow, if you don't mind, I could indeed offer my two cents...

-I love the classical theme. Just tossing it out there. I think classical themes fit sonnets far better than things like football or something.
-Question mark: yes.
-Exclamation mark could go either way, imho, but I'd vote maybe take it out/replace it.
-I think it still flowed nicely. It did fit.
-I personally adore the couplet at the end.
Also: I noticed you used "strum" or a variant thereof three times throughout, which to me, though not a crime, could be changed up. It does lend a sense of continuity but it also distracted me... Less common words could still be evocative, just food for thought.

Hope you don't mind, I like this a good bit and thought I'd stop by. I think you should know that I want to listen to my L'Orfeo arias now. :)
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you! I love feedback on my work--it helps so much.

I used 'strum' multiple times deliberately--since it is an uncommon word, as you said, I wanted to make sure it was well set-up, since I planned to use it as the final word of the sonnet. But it's quite possible I went overboard--I'll have to check that and see.

And L'Orfeo is wonderful. That's the very piece we were talking about in Music history--and it was so much fun to spend half of each class just listening to it. :)

Thanks again!
Reply
:iconjudah-leonardo:
Judah-Leonardo Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011   Writer
You're welcome! :aww: Hope it helps.
Reply
:iconcassildra:
Cassildra Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Writer
I can't 'officially' critique this piece, but I'm happy to do one in a comment, if you'd like. :)
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks for the fav, and yes, I would love a critique in the comments. Thank you!
Reply
:iconcassildra:
Cassildra Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Writer
Okay, it took longer than I thought to get back to this--my apologies.

My usual critique style is to go line-by-line, and then sum up the piece at the end. I hope this doesn't bug you (especially since I'm gonna dive into it anyway).

"Darkness encompassed me; high-vaulting fire" - This is a good tone-setting line! I love the idea of high VAULTING fire instead of leaping, jumping, etc. Really gives nice imagery.

"Leapt and burnt the vision from my gaze" - Sounds appropriately painful; again, good imagery.

"But though I could not see, I strummed my lyre" - Excellent use of a non-visual sense! I like to see this! It always makes me use exclamation points!

"Until the music swept away the haze" - I find the idea of music sweeping away blindness utterly fascinating. It's not exactly new to me, but it does make me stop and think for a moment. Very nice.

"And I could stumble onwards through the mire." - Mire is a strong word here--reinforces the darkness from the first line. Good choice.

"Now I strum no more. What use are lays?" - I like the question mark here. I wouldn't change it. Although, I admit as to not being sure what you mean by "lays" here...

"Save to remind me of my lost desire" - Well, yeah, Orpheus, if you'd have FOLLOWED THE SIMPLE DIRECTIONS GIVEN YOU, you'd have her now, wouldn't you? (Not a critique of you so much as yelling at him, sorry.) Ahem--I'd say you did well, since I derailed to yell at the subject. Nicely turned phrase.

"That I betrayed--let silence fill my days!" - I like the exclamation point; using something else would have made it less strong, especially since this is considered (at least by me) to be a past event, and if I recall, he did stop playing after this.

"For I, whose song once moved the gods to weep" - Beautiful. I like the way you phrased this--especially "weep" instead of "cry" or something else, rhyme notwithstanding.

"No longer can make melodies from woe--" - I like this a lot. This is well done.

"No dissonance expresses pain so deep" - This cuts true, even though he's a fictional figure, so I'd say you've nailed this.

"And no music can be as beautiful" - This, right here, is utterly brilliant. It's a break in meter, to be sure, but it's perfectly placed and utterly beautiful.

"As that which I have lost. Let others come" - I'm not sure about the double-line break here, but it flows really well word-wise, so I suppose I shouldn't complain. This is also my free-verse tendencies showing, I suppose.

"And fill the void with noise--I will not strum." - I like this conclusion. It's a bit abrupt but I think it's what you were going for--Orpheus kind of saying "I'm done, I'm not talking about it anymore, go away now".

Overall, it's a really cool piece that's incredibly well-written, and breaks the rules in such a way that it works. This is what the rest of us rule-breakers aspire to be ;) Well done.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Writer
Wow, thanks for such a great, thorough critique. It is awesome.

As to 'lays,' I mean songs--a lay is a song, usually an epic or narrative of some sort.

And yeah, Orpheus is an idiot. But then, most Greek heroes are.

Thank you again--this was very helpful!
Reply
:iconcassildra:
Cassildra Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Writer
I'm glad you liked it! I'm always paranoid that my critiquing style is "out there" or "not good enough", so hearing critiques on my critiques is very cool. ;)

Thanks for the definition! I love learning stuff.

Yeahhhhhhh, I know--Orpheus is one of the best of 'em, but they're all pretty damn dumb.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Writer
My favorite by far is Achilles. Not only is he an idiot, he's also whiny and acts like a toddler.
Reply
:iconcassildra:
Cassildra Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Writer
Yeah, he's pretty terrible, but the whole of the story makes me want to go back in time and smack sense into various major players on BOTH sides.
Reply
:iconcassildra:
Cassildra Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Writer
I've gotta go pretty soon, but I'll be sure to hit this when I get home from my appointment. :heart:
Reply
:iconqueengriselda:
QueenGriselda Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
The punctuation worked well, I thought. The meter breaking bothered me, especially because of the shortness of the phrases. I couldn't tell exactly what was wrong, but it felt choppy - as if a kitten were attacking me and I didn't know what was coming next. But the ending couplet, that was very nice; it felt like an adorable dog snuggling up next to me, but on my arms so that I couldn't type (in a kind of parallel to Orpheus not strumming his lyre; I could not type. This was indeed a tragedy, one about which an epic poem should be written).

I liked this sonnet - it isn't my favorite of yours, but it is quite good. I think it would be even better if you wrote a sonnet about Morpheus though. Because Morpheus has an even more tragic life. He plays beautiful harp music, but it makes everyone fall asleep. But really he just wants to be appreciated. Then, one day, a rabbit comes along and doesn't fall asleep, but after Morpheus's performance, it just blows a raspberry at him. Morpheus, soul crushed, decides to hate the world and goes on a killing rampage, claiming that those he kills aren't really people, but are evil robot beings intent on enslaving the world. However, when the angel of Death comes to take him at last, he hears the haunting harp melody from that fateful day and realizes his dreadful mystake. He hears the haunting laughter of the bunny as Death embraces him. So sad - perfect material for a sonnet.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you! I completely agree--that does sound interesting. I may well write a sonnet about such a fascinating and wonderful story. Or I may write one about kittens and snuggling dogs. So many good ideas!
Reply
:iconeuxiom:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
I was just thinking about him as I woke up today...though I mixed him up with Morpheus for a minute and went "No! That's not it! He's the god of sleep, and was in the Matrix..." :XD: Lovely poem you've got here. It's inspiring. :)

And yes, Greek heros tend to get shafted all the time, lulz.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconeuxiom:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
Welcome~
Reply
:icontheartistofkouroo:
TheArtistOfKouroo Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
[link]
I believe this page speaks for itself.
Poor Orpheus, one of the only Greek heroes who wasn't a horrible person, but Greek mythology can't let a good man go unpunished.
Nice poem, I always enjoy lamentation in literature.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks, and yeah greek heroes are very special people. Or at least they seemed to think so.
Reply
:icontheartistofkouroo:
TheArtistOfKouroo Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
I see you Achilles, hiding out in your tent there because Agamemnon won't let you have a girl over (you already have Patroclus.) And Agamemnon, get over yourself, it isn't even your wife you're fighting for, why are you in charge?

I could go on...
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconwilliamszm: More from williamszm


Featured in Collections

Poetry by QuiEstInLiteris

writings by Vagabond24-7


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
October 26, 2011
File Size
735 bytes
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
1,798
Favourites
70 (who?)
Comments
54