Creativity – a bout-rime sonnet

Something inside the human yearns to be visible,
Whether as a diva lime-lit on the stage,
Or a writer proud to publish her scribble.
Something to show when we arrive at old age,

A souvenir of the lives we have been touching.
Yet the words and sounds slip from our fingers,
Revealing as cliched the phrases we thought fetching,
Untamed is the symmetry of our mind’s tigers,

Becoming too self-critical is the ultimate buzzkill.
As a child it was easier – an effortless joy ride,
Yet the words flow harder as age plunges downhill.
Still, sometimes we catch again the muse’s high tide,

And our pen becomes a perspicuous harpoon,
Capturing the essence of life’s high noon.

This is a bout-rime – the last words of each line are derived from a list provided by Christine at Read Write Poem, who explains that:

This is a writing game, started in France as a joke in the seventeenth century, and popularized in England during the Victorian era. The game is a collaboration between poets. One poet chooses the end words for the sonnet, and everyone writes a sonnet using those words. I’m including two sets of end words for you, a rhyming set and a non-rhyming set for those who eschew rhyme.

The caveat is to use each word in the same order, as an end word, and to only write fourteen lines. Those are the rules of the game!

Rhyming end words: visible, stage, scribble, old age, touching, fingers, fetching, tigers, buzzkill, joy ride, downhill, high tide, harpoon, high noon.

Some of the end words fitted rather more easily than others, but I think I managed to fit them all in reasonably smoothly in the end!


4 responses to “Creativity – a bout-rime sonnet

  1. You did a great job! I’ll go back and read again. I would’ve commented sooner, but I left town, and my computer, for five days. They are fun, the bouts-rimés.

    Your sonnet is a wonderful musing on the process of creativity and the human search for any kind of immortality. Really nice.

  2. I like the word-game quality of this exercise — not unlike writing a sestina, in a certain way, with end-words predetermined (well, once the first stanza is drafted.)

    The final couplet is my favorite part of this sonnet, I think. 🙂

  3. This is wonderful. You really did good with the words!


  4. wow—really captures a lot of the ups and downs of creativity; not always a pleasant nor easy process!

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