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The Race

(after Andrew Marvell)

by Frank Coffman

This final, fitful flurry falling down

Will melt soon, and the April grass will green.

And yet how quickly green will parch and brown—

And summer fade to fall as all have seen.

Lessons from Nature?  There may be a couple:

One in the wondrous cycle of rebirth;

One in that Time, relentlessly, on supple

Limbs, races against us for all we're worth.

That some things last is clear each day at dawning.

That most things don't is seen in every death.

Let Time not pass us as we stand ayawning,

But let us run 'til we are out of breath!

And, stride for stride, beside him at the tape,

Fly on beside him in a better shape.

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I love how you have so beautifully and urgently you repeat a message we all know but so often ignore.  "let us run 'til we are out of breath!' "   Yes.

~~Tink

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Frank, this sonnet is very well composed. Though clearly a different subject matter, this one is somehow reminiscent of Frost's "The Master Speed."

Tony

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Thanks for the kind comments, Tink and Tony.  I see "Carpe Diem" as a double-edged theme. In Khayyam's RUBAIYAT (at least in the Fitzgerald trans.) it is hedonistic ('"Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." or "Make hay while the sun shines." The more positive view is the DEAD POET'S SOCIETY one about making the most of your time and your life in the time provided. I'm working with the latter one, of course, here. The great majority of what I do is sonnet experimentation. I'm doing a sequence of them in the 24 Welsh meters (at least trying to).

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Sonnets using the Welsh meters, haha, good luck when you get to #7.  

~~Tink

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Number 7 on whose list. It's possible I've already done one. I've already covered more than half of the 24 official meters.

 

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Ah yes, the dipthong one. It is #8 in Rolf Humphries excellent book GREEN ARMOR ON GREEN GROUND where he attempts all of the meters in English poems. Clearly his ancestry is partly Welsh based upon the last name. He's most famous for his translation of Ovid's METAMORPHOSIS and as a classical scholar. STILL (even though I haven't tried this one yet) I think the diphthongs: ae oe wy and ei can be closely approximated by long I "ay," long o. "ow" as in "bow, bough" and "oo" as in "you.   I'll give it a shot. I'll have something before the end of today 8 Nov. 2017

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