The Visitation–Sonnet

When misty twilight shifts to midnight black

then I fear to hear her mournful sighing

outside the window, cries of “bring me back”–

whispers first, but then intensifying.


Who is this spirit whose cries so haunt me?

What darkness of the soul fights through the night,

flutters about a flame as if to plea,

fleeing as dawn awakes, sheds rosy light,


wondrous–I see but her ghostly image

in her darkling visitations to me,

confusing, the purpose of the scrimmage

of our spirits, hers dead, but not set free.


Still, now I know when next she comes again

the light will fade for me–not why, but when.


For dVerse, where Björn has asked us to write a sonnet. I find sonnets very difficult to write. This one follows the Shakespearean rhyme scheme, and I hope the meter, too, but with an added twist of gothic sensibility.




62 thoughts on “The Visitation–Sonnet

  1. its dark and mysterious, yes my first thoughts were Mary Shelly out with a candle – it is a stirring sonnet Merril. I do wonder if using more than one syllable for the ending rhyme disrupts the flow? like in your first quartet, sighing and intensifying…just a comment as i read it seemed a mouthful…if you permit me to say!!

  2. The title got me excited as soon as I read it and I love the ghostly story you tell, Merril, which reminds me of Wuthering Heights and Cathy’s ghost at the window.
    I love the shift in the light in the opening line, whispers to sighs and cries, and the rhyming couplet is chilling.

  3. I came back to read again Merill. This is well written, and sonnets are hard to write because we neither soeak nor think this way in the modern world – so it remains somewhat foreign to us. I had to write the 2nd sonnet I just posted to try Jilly’s enjamdment. I find that even more difficult, so I wrote a fantasy piece to see if that made the composing easier. Eh!?

  4. Definitely gothic in feel. I got quite tense as I read expecting a terrifying ending which you delivered in the form of eventual death. You managed the meter well in this difficult form!

  5. “The light will fade for me…” This is beautiful and mysterious, we are haunted so often by what we know not, but the certainty of the haunting enveloping us, I guess we all haunt each other in some ways I suppose. I admire the meter, it read fine for me, I’m thinking about Gina’s comment on reading aloud, I gave in to the freedom implied in Bjorns that we don’t have to be too strict with the meter, the volta and clinch is the crucial part I think, and yours is chilling, a shift from feeling a haunting sensed externally to it really effecting something inside the narrarotor

    • Thank you, Lona! I’m glad you enjoyed. Thank you for your comments, too, about meter and the volta. It seemed to read fine to me, too, but. . . I’m glad you thought the volta worked. I’m going to get back to reading today, and then I hope to try writing another.

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