Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 This poem was once rejected by a major literary journal (which shall remain nameless) on the grounds that the editor did not see any reason why the subject demanded a sonnet.  Let us just say that fourteen lines do not a sonnet make.  So much for the supposed expertise of our cultural gatekeepers.  But why shouldn’t the poem have been a sonnet if it had wanted to?  So much for the alleged wisdom of those gatekeepers.  Wordsworth or Keats would have known better!  While this fourteen line poem is not a sonnet of any kind, I do think it has an intriguingly intricate rhyme scheme.

On One of the Functions of Morning


When the first fingers of light steal through the grass,

Angling down through spaces between the limbs

Of trees, greeting the ground-fog as they pass,

The separate the darkness into shadows

That stretch out lengthwise clear across the meadows.

I have been up a time or two, on whims,

Early enough to see it come to pass.


For it is shy, this light that flits and skims

And touches everything so very lightly.

As imperceptibly as starlight dims

It fades to greater brightness, slips away

Before the bolder light that’s merely day,

And leaves the lucky ones it touches slightly

More inclined to follow after whims.


Remember: for more poetry like this, go to and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD


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