‘A Love Sonnet For The Collective He’ – DVerse Poets Form Challenge

I pretended not to hate you last night,

knees pressed into your pelvis like stone fists,

your cold, clever lips there against my wrist

with promises you would make things alright

once the morning at last brought home some light

and you could show me why we must persist,

how without you, I would barely exist,

and why it was pointless for me to fight.

But I kept count of those lies and those kisses.

every feathered touch up, along my ire,

and each time I should have taken your tongue

when your arrogance stoked up this fire

and told me I did not have strength to rise

when you were the one crawling all along.


Bjorn is hosting the first Poetry Form night of at the DVerse Poets Pub and he’s picked an old fling to throw up as the first challenge. While I played with sonnets years ago, I went off them in the same way I went off most fixed form poetry. However, anyone who’s been around this blog for the last few days will know that I’m trying to dip my toe back into that particular poetry pool so I was going to give this a fair shot.

One hour later I have what I hope is a presentable sonnet that goes against the assumption that sonnets are all about love. I wanted to give this old form a modern, feminist twist.

It deserves a little shaking up after all that twisting the rhyme scheme had me doing.

If you fancy joining in the form fun then click the badge above to check out Bjorn’s post and also to find the rest of the brave poets taking on sonnets for the evening.

Best of luck and I hope you enjoy.


    1. Thanks Bjorn. I’ll admit I nearly gave tonight a miss when I saw the challenge but decided not to. I had to wrestle with this to avoid cramming in any old word just to meet a rhyme scheme.


  1. Wow, Carol! I’m so glad you didn’t pass up this challenge/prompt! I love the way the whole sonnet turns on the tenth line with the word ‘But’.


  2. So she asks us to ‘enjoy’ the poem! A bit much I should think. The subject matter is close to my heart, or sensibility should I say and no, I didn’t ‘enjoy’ reading it but of course I respect the rendering. And the volta.


  3. “knees pressed into your pelvis like stone fists,
    your cold, clever lips there against my wrist”
    is gorgeous and chilling. I love the alliteration and tension.


  4. This is so powerful….and to the collective he. It leaves me wondering if this is to all men…or if the man himself in the sonnet, has different sides to him. There is a definite change in attitude and resolve in the line that begins with “but” and in the realization in the final line. I feel, actually feel, this poem.


    1. Thank you Lillian, I’m really glad. I’ve been lucky with the men I’ve let into my life, my husband (while a great lover of saying things he knows will set me off like a top) is my greatest support and closest friend. I’ve still had to deal with those moments where being a woman has somehow set me apart, and men have deemed me less because of it. It might not always be the men we let into our beds that push us down, but that doesn’t mean the effect isn’t just as personal.


  5. I like your anti-love sonnet very much! (Or anti false love, anyhow.) it’s pithy and full of energy. But don’t you mean ‘stoked’ rather than ‘stocked’ the fire? (Autocorrect strikes again?)


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