Gallery V: Storm in the Mountains

A series of loose Petrarchan sonnets meditating on the Hudson River School. These were featured as part of “Falling for Pawling,” a musical production based on student works performed by the Sherman Chamber Ensemble. This is the fifth and final poem in the series.

If in eternity’s arms, Rome was built in a day (1),

If solar storms flood the earth, the galaxies sprawl,

And time scores our lives away to nothing at all,

I don’t blame you for thinking it doesn’t matter anyway.

But things do matter, like fireflies in the Hudson Bay

That glimmer on our fingertips and in jars, or small

Spirals of rainbow in marbles, or the way your hair falls

Over your eyes, tangling shadow and sunshine rays (2).

I do not care that the universe spins and grows,

Not when stars that die still reach and bend

To give us light, and there are emerald seas (3). No one knows

How long we have, but the real meaning of life depends

On all the small things we can’t see. Life may ebb and flow

Towards nothing, but I think by knowing this, the world never truly ends.

  1. Ruins-Campagna of Rome by Albert Bierstadt
  2. Sunshine and Shadow by Albert Bierstadt
  3. Emerald Sea by Albert Bierstadt

After doing this project, I was really surprised to see how much my poems improved over the span of writing just five of them. It showed me how enjoyable it is to write sonnets, and I also found that I really enjoy writing poetry in general. I’ve taken a break since, but I want to get back on track with it. Hopefully this blog will help motivate me to continue.

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