sept baronial sonnet

I wrote this sonnet as a competition piece for the Septemeber Baronial – I strongly doubt I will be entering it, as I don’t envisage wanting to share it with our wider circle of acquaintance. I have worked on it back and forth for months, and felt when I was writing it that I was trying to place myself in the situation of an infertile medieval woman who had no chance of asssitance from the medical community, and was bearing the heavy weight of infertility on her own . It always seemed an exaggerated version of how I felt from my own personal sense of loss from infertility. Just reading it through this morning, I find it doesn’t feel so much of an exaggeration any more. Even though I have my son, this is how I feel some days. As poetry goes, it’s not very good unfortunately.

Outwardly merry is my worldy mask.
Yet shrouded beneath, my soul is in tears.
What causes mine heartache, thou might well ask?
Alas, cruel barren stars torment my years.

What past sins have brought me this wretchedness?
How didst I purchase this seditious womb?
Must I bide this curs’d state of childlessness?
Am I bound in sorrow to pitieous tomb? 

Herbs and potions, witchcraft and doctoring,
I’ve endur’d them all whilst Khronos marches!
Hateful courses mark each month’s swift passing,
Still bairns came not to these fruitless pastures.

Alone with my thoughts, my heart in riot.
I compose my mask and bide in quiet.


Tell me what you think