To finally get caught up again, a sonnet series, based on a simple quatrain. Note that the Latin titles refer back to the quatrain, and note that “magnum opus” was written on Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, and is written partly in his honor.
I am an open piece of work to you.
And all I know is how I’ve given in,
And all I have is all my best. It’s true;
I’m sorry–you may conquer, but not win.
I am an open piece of work–a slate.
An empty one, and void of taint or spot.
Come, gather round and empty out your hate
And flinch or push aside, no I will not.
Just as a tablet made of solid stone
I am carved deep with words I did not hear;
Or so you thought–for you are flesh and bone
And heeded not the innocence. You sneer
But don’t forget the ones you cast aside–
We are the young impressionable ones,
And you in gloating glory and in pride
You deal untainted hearts a hit and run.
Thus set in stone, our hearts are poised to fall
And all I know is, I gave you my all.
All I know is how I gave away
The secret to the depths of my own soul.
I meant to put it off another day–
I meant to make my heart your greatest goal.
Alas! I gave you false and fleeting hope
For I know not myself, nor how to love.
Such mystery was far beyond the scope
Of anything I told you was enough.
It’s not enough–my poor one, it’s a lie.
The key to all I am is no safe road.
I will not blame you should you say goodbye,
Relinquish all we had for lighter loads.
I wish you’d stay–I know my heart is true–
And all I had was all my best for you.
I will not reach my best before I die.
Perhaps upon my passing, I’ll confer
A greater worth to all my pen supplied
And maybe one or two will be preferred
By readers who come after. But not yet–
Oh no, I’ve miles to go before I sleep.
Four hundred fifty years, and they’ll forget
I ever lived, for poems may not keep.
But maybe one will turn up on a page
Folded in a journal, faded ink
And read by my descendants in an age
When such archaic words will make them think.
I’ll raise a glass of tea to that and pray
That future daughters give their best this way.
The conqueror of new-found hopes and dreams,
The banisher of self-accusing thoughts
Has taken interest in me, it seems
And shakes his head for armies I have fought.
All battles I have waged this year or so
Are not quite victories–I have not won.
My fault lies in the truth I ought to know
And gave away, exchanged for one last run.
I’d give it all for this, and this he saw
Before I lowered eyes of shame and doubt.
I’d rather die before admit a flaw
And suffer rather, should the truth come out.
Who am I, conqueror, besides my sin?
Identify me ere I let you in.