Training – #NaPoWriMo19 – 4

#NaPoWriMo19, Relationships Add comments



Well, the prompt for today suggested that I write a sad sonnet in plain words.

I failed.

I wrote a Spenserian Sonnet (rhyme scheme of: abab–bcbc–cdcd–ee, 10 syllables to a line, 14 lines in total) that started well but became a little too flowery by line 8 and totally went the way of the pompous by the end.

Ooops…! 😉



The train ride there I sat backwards, thinking –

Watched sunlit fields and houses pass us by;

Shared the table of a lady, shrinking

Into her book so’s not to catch my eye.


A peace settled, without the need to try;

I smiled at pithy snippets overheard

My stop came fast, I felt the brakes apply – 

Along the glass, reflections became blurred.


Alone, among the pigeons, something stirred:

A prowling beast of destiny or fate?

Or just my blackened pride becoming burred

As those clock chimes declared him more than late…


Many fair maidens fall prey to this ruse

But learn, with time, much gentler paths to choose.


It is the Easter Holidays, so I really didn’t have any time left to write another poem after kid wrangling all day, and I do like to get these posts out on the correct day or as close to it as I can…and, well, it’s an optional prompt, right?!

Hee, hee – meet you back here tomorrow!


[Pic is from here]


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5 Responses to “Training – #NaPoWriMo19 – 4”

  1. Jane Wright Says:

    Verse one has two things that, to my mind, don’t work.
    a) ‘ I sat backwards’. I know what you mean but it causes an immediate stumble.and gives an almost comic note (because of where it is placed and the restraints of the format) that you do not want.
    b) a lady shrinking. Again, I obviously know what you mean once my eyes reach the next line but, again, it has an odd, comic note being divorced from the rest of the sentence by poetic arrangement

    Stanza two I like

    Stanza three doesn’t quite work nor the concluding last two lines, as you have mentioned.

    This, I think, shows up the flaws of the challenging, fun format you are following, a poem a day with no time for re- visiting. Plus having the joys and requirements of the Easter holidays to attend to. The sonnet has loads of potential but all poems, even those of the best poets in the world, always need time to be reworked and polished.

    But nevertheless, the sonnet has given me great interest and pleasure or I wouldn’t spend time writing all this.

    I hope you find my comments helpful and not in any way upsetting. You know I think you have great talent.

  2. Montaffera Says:

    Thanks for reading so thoroughly, Jane! I encourage and appreciate response to and critique of my work, so I do not find this upsetting 🙂 thank you for taking the time to write your comment.

    As I said in the post, I have a tendency towards a grandiose style, so writing plainly in a sonnet form was a challenge too far for me in the time I had. There are different rhyme schemes to choose from in a true sonnet, and also the poem that inspired the optional prompt on the Glo/NaPoWriMo page doesn’t follow strict conventions.

    This blog is built on the premise that I will never be able to polish what I have enough to make a ‘proper’ poetry blog, but I can fit my creativity in around the edges of mum life, and have a bit of mental-twister fun on the way.

    I like that she sits “backwards, thinking” because she in effect watches the past unfolding in front of her instead of embracing the future, and I do feel that as the reader knows it is a train she is on (and later, that she is sharing a table) the intended meaning is clear. It reaches into the rest of the poem, when we get to the third stanza and realise she has not looked into the future with this man too clearly. I also feel ‘a lady shrinking’ has the same sort of effect. I can imagine school English teacher questions about “why is the lady ‘shrinking’ in the first stanza?” and someone writing that the speaker in the poem was also becoming smaller by agreeing to meet an obviously unreliable man, and maybe relating it to later on in the poem – the lines about all women having their pride bruised, maybe having believed they were ‘in a fairytale’ at first, etc.

    It is all a matter of interpretation, however, and I do agree that line nine onwards could do with a revisit. (I was going for the volta, or twist, that is meant to happen after the octave in a petrarchan sonnet. Think I was a little heavy handed…) 😉

    Thanks again for your response, Jane X

  3. Jane Wright Says:

    It was because I liked it that I suggested, what to me, were tripping points. But now you explain it I understand more fully what you were aiming at.. It was very early in the morning when I read it!
    Loads of love


  4. Jane Wright Says:

    And the backwards/ shrinking thing works perfectly now I read it again ! But that is the mark of success, getting people thinking. And you have got me thinking a lot.. too

  5. Montaffera Says:

    Thanks Jane 🙂 X

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