Sonnet II – Sleeping Together

These early mornings when I cannot sleep,
I know the dull truth of that tired cliché –
you’re close beside me, but so far away –
if sleep’s an ocean, you’re down in the deeps;
if sleep’s a path, it’s one I found too steep;
if it’s a place, then I can’t find the way;
if it’s a tune, it’s one I cannot play,
if it’s a faith, I’ve lost all my belief –
yet there’s a pleasure in this lying here,
your presence, so well known, but always new
your warm skin, comforting as morning light.
I wonder if you know I’m lying near –
do you dream that I’m sleeping next to you?
Do you sleep better for my oversight?

My second sonnet – a Petrarchan sonnet – notice the different rhyme scheme. This is a new one on me, so thank you, Bjorn.https://dversepoets.com/2019/01/03/poetry-forms-the-sonnet/

17 thoughts on “Sonnet II – Sleeping Together

  1. There’s so much I like about this, possibly because I see a touch of myself in it, those moments before dawn when sleep is wandering and being awake next to someone can feel like the most lonely place in the world but also the most comforting.
    I think this is one I’ll come back to to read again later.

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  2. I posted my second sonnet after Björn confirmed we could link up more than one and before I read yours – and we’ve both written about early mornings! You’ve mastered the Petrarchan sonnet, Sarah, and I love the repetition of ‘If sleep’s…’ with all the different metaphors and contrasts. And it’s so tenderly intimate.

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  3. Beautiful, Sarah. That presence of someone near is so comforting. I do not sleep much at all therefore all of your “if” lines were like a theme song for me!

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  4. You do such a good job of letting the sonnet work for your purposes and not the other way around. The casual ease of long habituation to an other — like sleeping together — is so intimate here, and yet, as all love songs find, there is an immutable distance–perhaps never more so than to lie awake while your partner sleeps. I dream sometimes knowing my wife’s body is next to mine, other times wake guilty and affrighted to have forgotten she’s right there. The thinking through love’s intimacies and proximities with the serial “if’s” work wonderfully to suborn the arch form.

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  5. Oh Sarah, this is amazingly gorgeous, this tension between being together and separate that somehow may bind two together if they are lucky or blessed, and also the depths in this straightforward:
    “your presence, so well known, but always new”
    In my marriage now, so many things have changed due to difficult circumstance, that what we share in world view, intimacy, outlook, and hope has been progressively dwindling. But what we do have that remains is a friendship, and an empathy for each other, and a mutual love and concern for our offspring and for each other, AND we still do have the nice bond of at least feeling the warmth of the other there next to us on the boundary of either sleep or restlessness. This poem actually has me tearful in contemplating where we are, grateful tears. This is so lovely and meaningful my friend. Thank you for this second sonnet. Lona. Printing this one for the wall.

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    • Thank you for this comment, too. It was wonderful to think that I had touched someone with my writing. I should have replied before, but I wanted to wait until I had a keyboard, rather than tapping something out with one finger on my phone. I think you absolutely got what I was writing about – a “mature” love poem, I guess, thinking about how a long marriage has its comforts, as well as its frustrations.

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  6. Sleepless, but not alone. Certainly takes the edge off.
    I have not tried this type of sonnet. The rhythm is quite different from the Shakespearean, so familiar to me in its sound. I like it. (K)

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