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Poetry Magnum Opus

Night cycling


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Street signs hidden in darkness sigh their names.

Cycling at night I reach a bridge-suicide

demands one last ride, lurid moonlight frames

this graceful dive-well he and my bike died.

Day sleeping I dreamt about riding the strands

of a spiders web-forty bikes I rode

one for each year. I was woken by sounds

of a ghost ringing a cycle bell, code

of charms warned me the reaper was about

to blow away the widow's web. I would keep

my dreams well hidden from death, avoid the routes

he takes. My spirit watchman guards my sleep.

I would create a vehicle with parts

from dreams-lastly a bell as daylight starts.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice write, Barry. A terrific idea for a sonnet, this eerie night bike ride that seems to waver between reality and the dream state. I can picture a wraithlike apparition ringing a bike bell, materializing, de-materializing, and appearing again in the darkness.



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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David W. Parsley

Barry, there is so much to like about this sonnet, I hardly know where to start. Tony is right: innovative but good fit for the sonnet form. Right, too, about the writhing between wraith and reality.


Your mastery of the sonnet form seems to be right on track. Scanscion holds up to scrutiny (might want to tweak line 9). Rhyme scheme is inventive and sound. Word repetition has been purged from the lines, with the exception of "bell" limited to a respectable two with an echo in the recurring "well", sending an eerily real jingle from beyond fatal mists. The most tellingly deft touch may be the subtly enacted volta in the final quatrain.


Very nice!

- Dave

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I agree with Tony and Dave on this. The enjambment also works well although I prefer to see conventional punctuation (for this form) rather than hyphen- which can be misleading for the reader. That aside very well done. :smile:

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