Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sonnet Sit-ups

In California

When evening leads the fog from over hill
Then straight struck off are seabirds in the light
Above Filoli where the woods are still
And rills of resin greening on to night.
Eastward, on the hills of sunburnt grass,
The houses all look penitent and blind.
I watch the grimy stations as they pass;
The faces in the train are tired and kind.
White is the hot haze and towers cool as stone
Where Chinese freighters win the Golden Gate.
The city poises central and alone,
And I have come too early or too late.
Where West wants East and would be at accord,
There shines the level Ocean like a sword.

I wrote this today in my spare moments, so I don't feel too guilty about it. I think it's good for an exercise, but I kind of hope that someone will tell me why I'm wrong.

It's full of images of home. The train is running on the BART line between Berkeley and Fremont. The fog-draped hills are the Santa Cruz Mountains and Filoli is an estate with gardens that look like an English Eden in the spring. The seabirds have wandered over from Crystal Springs Reservoir, which is where I have seen them wheeling. And there's San Francisco, of course.

I fly home on the 14th, and I'm very happy about it. Just have to get through finals...

Postscript: While linking to the Filoli article, I stumbled across an image of the very phenomenon I was trying to describe in the beginning of the poem. I love Wikipedia.

1 comment:

Santiago said...