I have written this poem for Dr. Kenneth Graham, my first university English professor and perhaps the only professor who actually taught me English Literature rather than Literary Theory or Literary Criticism. He is now retired, but I see him at the market not infrequently, and he wrote me recently with a request that I attempt again one of the more formal sonnets that I used to write for his class. So, though I have chosen a rhyme scheme that is, as far as I know, of my own devising, I have otherwise tried to keep the sonnet form as traditional as possible, without much enjambment and without punctuation in the lines, but with a clearly distinguished octave and sestet and with a mostly regular iambic line. I hope he enjoys it.
The Prayers that All Things Pray
These moments drifting on the edge of day
Lose time itself and make its time delay,
Like dreams that see what only dreams can see
And let their seeing draw all dreams astray,
Or prayers that find no prayer to make them free
But pray that praying might yet come to be,
Or words that wait for words until they die
And fall unworded into memory.
Here mysteries in their mystery humbly lie,
And visions grant their vision to the eye,
And earthly things their earthly selves betray,
And suns reflecting suns wait in the sky.
Here silence says what silence comes to say,
And nothing speaks the prayers that all things pray.