Over the last twoish years my poetry has vastly matured (your mileage may vary as to whether they could be called “good”). Most of the poems I wrote through college, and even into my early 30s, was personal; if any of it is actually decent, it’s almost sheer coincidence. In the last few years, though, I’ve moved away from emo teen poetry to focusing on concepts. I’ve particularly had fun occasionally squeezing a story into a sonnet.
Today’s sonnet might not be the best example of that, but it’s more external. One of the prompts from the 2017 November Poem a Day challenge was “Metamorphosis”; like a good little classicist, my mind immediately jumped to Ovid, and to Echo and Narcissus. (I mean, I thought about Kafka. But I just wasn’t ready to write a sonnet about a giant beetle.)
Echo and Narcissus
Originally written November 12, 2017
She loved him, but he never noticed her
And so her grief consumed her from within
The poor sweet woodland nymph, far too demure,
Her face grew pale, her body bony thin;
While he was too caught up in his own looks
And lost himself in his own vanity.
He didn’t see just how her shoulders shook
When she cried out for him—he didn’t see
Her silver tears, or hear her echoing cries
Until she faded into a mere voice
He only saw himself in her blue eyes
And saw such beauty there that he rejoiced
To love himself with all his might and power:
His body fell, and he became a flower.