“Sonnet” by Alice Oswald


I can’t sleep in case a few things you said
no longer apply. The matter’s endless,
but definitions alter what’s ahead
and you and words are like a hare and tortoise. 
Aaaagh there’s no description — each a fractal 
sectioned by silences, we have our own
skins to feel through and fall back through — awful
to make so much of something so unknown.
But even I — some shower-swift commitments
are all you’ll get;  I mustn’t gauge or give
more than I take — which is a way to balance
between misprision and belief in love
both true and false, because I’m only just
short of a word to be the first to trust.

 by Alice Oswald  from The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile (Oxford 1996).

I am adding here the Library Thing  link for  The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile by Alice Oswald. I wrote a brief polemic last week about the decision of the two poets , Alice Oswald and John Kinsella, to leave the T.S Eliot Prize, but I do hope that people will do their own reading on the issues surrounding their decisions. There are a  some sonnets on this blog and a few of these are taken from the magnificent Norton Anthology,  The Making of a Sonnet , edited by Eavan Boland and Edward Hirsch , which I’d recommend to lovers of the  sonnet form. 

The Thing in the Gap-stone Stile (Oxford Poets)

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