by Michael R. Burch
To at last be indestructible, a poem
must first glow, almost flammable, upon
a thing inert, as gray, as dull as stone,
then bend this way and that, and slowly cool
at arm’s-length, something irreducible
drawn out with caution, toughened in a pool
of water so contrary just a hiss
escapes it—water instantly a mist.
It writhes, a thing of senseless shapelessness ...
And then the driven hammer falls and falls.
The horses ***** their ears in nearby stalls.
A soldier on his cot leans back and smiles.
A sound of ancient import, with the ring
of honest labor, sings of fashioning.
Published by The Chariton Review, The Eclectic Muse, Trinacria, Poetry Life & Times, and Famous Poets and Poems
NOTE: This is a sonnet about forging sonnets. The gray "anvil" is the human brain. The fiery "glow" is the poetic imagination. The cooling and shaping are the process of revision. The hammer is the poet's pen, producing order out of chaos. Keywords/Tags: Sonnet, poem, indestructible, irreducible, hammer, anvil, forge, labor, fashioning, shape, smithy, blacksmith, ironworker, sword, pen