Post-weekend Poetry 019: Two Sonnets by Elizabeth Vallone

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the nineteenth in this series. This week we have two sonnets by historical author, poet and forthcoming interviewee Elizabeth Vallone.

I – August to May 2011
Content in a shadowy grove, we stood
Watching ’neath the bridal canopy
As the Indian beat the hide with wood
A tune as mournful as Penelope.
With broad smiles, good wishes rose on our breath.
Golden sunflowers hovered above them
Their deep black centers –an omen of death–
Anointed him through their hanging stems.
Baby wrapped in a shroud, soon after
Buried under the tree of sycamore
Slaying love, bonds and laughter.
Sleepless torment created a sore
That oozed an age of dark despair
Leaving him numb, cold in the wedding lair.

II – The Greedy Visitor
In a dark sarcophagus, gleaming with shellac
He lay ever fine and fair on a white silk cloud–
Cold, hard, so still.  I can’t help but move back
To my seat where I sit watching the crowd
Anguished, hurting.  They kneel taking my hand.
I feel their touch of love, they feel my pain.
My daughter, mom, hover, make no demands.
I look up glaring, he says his name with love feigned.
I recall treachery, but smile and thank him.
He arrived three months later with tear-stained face.
“Don’t you want Robert’s things?”  He’s still so grim.
Did courage or guilt bring him to my place?
Have I misjudged this man who was his friend?
No, for Robert’s things, much money I must spend.

I asked Elizabeth what prompted this piece and she said…

When someone loses a child the pain that one carries is beyond description.  It is much more painful than losing a sibling, parent or even spouse.  The survivor must grab on to any tool to work through the grief, I’ve taken to writing a sonnet when the pain is overflowing and can’t be contained with yoga, meditation and long walks.  The only other time in my life I found compelled to write poetry was when I was a university student and my love at that time left me and that was many years ago.

That’s really sad. I do find writing therapeutic – my heart goes out to you. Thank you, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Vallone possesses a B.A. and M.S. degree from Montclair State University and Long Island University.  She is a teacher and freelance writer. A contributing author to the anthologies Imprints on Rockland County History (1983) and Curragia: Writings of Italian-American Women (1998), Mrs. Vallone published Stone Perpendicular to Stone—A Tribute to the Land of My Ancestors in 1997. In 2005, Beyond Bagheria, a first attempt at historical fiction set in the New Orleans of the 1920s was published. Her latest book, published October 2011, is ‘Barbarossa’s Princess‘. Mrs. Vallone is currently working on historical fiction set in WWI Hoboken, NJ. She lives in Rockland County with her husband and returns on Saturday 12th May for our interview.

If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with multi-genre author Tim Girard – the three hundred and fifty-sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays.

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