Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,

That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,

Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,

Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—

I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,

Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,

Oft turning others’ leaves, to see if thence would flow

Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain.

But words came halting forth, wanting Invention’s stay:

Invention, Nature’s child, fled step-dame Study’s blows,

And others’ feet still seemed but strangers in my way.

Thus great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,

Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:

“Fool,” said my Muse to me, “look in thy heart and write.”


Notes:

POL Participants: On January 16, 2017, we made a correction in the second line of this poem: "That the dear She might" has been corrected to "That she, dear she, might". The student may recite either version for the 2016-7 competition.

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"What really makes a poem dynamic is not the use of grand gestures. Rather, it is the tones and expressions of the voice that help listeners connect and understand the meaning of a poem."
Angelica Sterling
2017 USVI POL Champ