Friday, January 9, 2009

Poetry Friday: Hinged Double Sonnet for the Luna Moths

My theme for 2009 is "Stay in the Moment." Which makes me think: what will happen if I do?

But...I know I'm not supposed to ask such future-oriented questions (ye gods of January, I've blown it already!), but maybe I'm allowed to speculate that the following image-laden poem was written by someone who did:

Hinged Double Sonnet for the Luna Moths
by Sean Nevin

For ten days now, two luna moths remain
silk-winged and lavish as a double broach
pinned beneath the porch light of my cabin.
Two of them, patinaed that sea-glass green
of copper weather vanes nosing the wind,
the sun-lit green of rockweed, the lichen’s
green scabbing-over of the bouldered shore,
the plush green peat that carpets the island,
that hushes, sinks then holds a boot print
for days, and the sapling-green of new pines
sprouting through it. The miraculous green
origami of their wings—false eyes, doomed
and sensual as the mermaid’s long green fins:
a green siren calling from the moonlight.

the second (and gorgeous) half of the double sonnet here


  1. This one gives me chills...

  2. Wow.

    They emerge from cocoons like greased hinges,
    all pheromone and wing, instinct and flutter.

    I love this. I don't know his work at all. Off to put some on reserve. Thanks, Sara. And don't worry, I'm sure the gods of January are smiling on you:>)

  3. Just gorgeous. Delicate and luminous!

  4. I love that poem, which I've read several times before. So gorgeous.

    I rather suspect that if you stay in the now, now, in some future now you will know what that meant.

  5. born, like desire itself, without mouths...

    How do people think of these things? Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous...

  6. Such exquisite imagery - lol, that sounds so pretensious, but really, it was the best word to describe how this poem made me feel! THANKS for sharing it :D

  7. Ditto on the chills.

    . . . origami of their wings

    Oh my goodness. Thank you for sharing this and introducing me to someone new.

  8. So glad the poem worked its magic on all of you too. Did you see that he works with young writers?

  9. So many lovely, delicate ways to describe that indescribable green. Excellent. But I think I disagree about those last two lines.

    "They are, like desire itself, born
    without mouths. What, if not this, is love?"

    Desire isn't born without a mouth. I think it's all mouth! And love isn't just waiting, starved, to die together. Or am I reading this wrong? Have I not lived or paid attention long enough to understand this?

  10. I'm with you, Cloudscome -- I disagree with the ending. Maybe a life born with the sole reason to mate and die works for luna moths and mayflies (ephemeroptera -- ephemeral on wings), but mine has been lots bigger than that, and I'm just me.

    I also agree with all the admirers of the language of the poem.

    I'm agreeable today. Not an original bone in my body, and now I'm off to put a yummy breakfast in my mouth.

  11. I can see how desire could be "all mouth" but I took "desire itself born without mouths" here to be saying that if desire had a mouth, it could sate itself, at least temporarily. But how painful desire can be because it CANNOT truly be sated, and only wants more than the world has to give at that moment. So to wait in the burning moment with each other with just what you have and no more, that's love.

    I can also see the ending being somewhat ironic, in that the poet might be asking "THIS is love?" To starve and be together but dying?

    I was kind of hoping the poet might be self-Googling and show up to comment. Although I respect those writers who feel their work stands as is, with all the mystery therein.

  12. Sara,

    I LOVE that poem. I, too, had never read any of Nevin's work before. That's one great thing about Poetry Fridays--being introduced to new poets and some wonderful poems.

    Happy New Year!

  13. Just realized I was logged in as Both of Us instead of as Mary Lee. Oops.


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