Submitted by Ann Neilson

Soft moonlight bathes mine muse’s form, his
Dignified gaze approvingly peering
O’er feeble lines, lithe fingers sifting the
Runic words of mine poem, careering.
A hushéd murmur invades mine mind,
Delicate critique avec pensive hum—
Palpitating heartbeats quiver and pine
For him, whose own heart recalls to the drum.
I beg of God to find mine muse, whether
Entrapped in the shroud of Heaven’s graces,
Or, if, on his native streets he may walk there,
I pray to embrace his ghostly, echoed traces.
In dreams, in dreams we are ne’er to part—
Behold me, muse! blood of my beating heart.*

*This line is derived from poet Charles Fenno Hoffman’s translation of “Indian Serenade,” published in A Winter in the West, 1835.


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Photo credit: Carvaggio – boy with basket


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The Vita Brevis Team

“Ars longa, vita brevis" (art is long, life is short). This maxim so moved us that it seemed only right to title our online poetry magazine after it. It may seem curious that we chose Vita Brevis (life is short) as our title instead of Ars Longa (art is long). But this choice was more than appropriate; after all, the aim of our journal is to publish work that shows a keen awareness of not only art’s beauty and immortality but life’s toils and finiteness. We want to revive and nourish the rich existential literature that forms when art and the human endeavor collide.

3 thoughts on “Sonnet”

  1. I think what really makes this sonnet shine is the highly ungrammatical use of “mine,” as in “mine mind.” Correct grammatical usage, in archaic construction, of mine + noun is only appropriate when the noun begins with a vowel (as in “Mine eyes have seen the glory”); similar to the rule of when to use “a” (before a noun beginning with a consonant) or “an” (before a noun beginning with a vowel. Kudos for daring to break the rules!

    Liked by 1 person

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