Sonnet I – Jacob T. Reilly

I previously posted my most recent sonnet, Sonnet XXXV (I suppose 9 months ago isn’t very “recent,” but nonetheless it is the last sonnet I have written). Below is my first sonnet, and really the first poem I ever wrote. Written for my wife almost 5 years ago, my best friend and now brother-in-law, John Henderson, set it to music. It was performed at his Senior Composition Concert this past spring at the Catholic University of America.  You can find the musical setting below the text. Please listen to it, as it adds a another layer of artistry to the work.

                        Sonnet I

Black ink recorded first my love in lines
And then my dripping notes went trickling in your
Ear, borne by my lithe breath. Now I deplore
A love of only letters and harsh signs.
Beyond cold print my love draws near to you –
Past even curly script. From throat to ear
It wafts and round your neck it garlands dear.
My heart’s eyes see love’s words with a red rue –
Red with a blushing inadequacy.
Act and word, act and word like fingers mesh
And seal the love of two in intimacy.
A darling baby born in a lone crèche
And his gently nursing mother yield to me
This truth: that all words long to be made flesh.


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