Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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Poetry Friday: “Constancy”

This post was originally published on August 3, 2012. It was my first poetry post on this blog, and only my second post ever, following my introduction. But since my wedding anniversary is August 10, I plan to repost it every year at this time. I wouldn’t be where I am without my wife, after all.  (And by the way, if you missed this past Tuesday’s post about writing without your muse, I invite you to check it out!)


poetryfridaybutton-fulllThis is only my second posting on this blog, and although I knew I wanted to do something for Poetry Friday, it took quite a bit of deliberation to decide which poem of mine I should spotlight.  Children’s poetry or adult poetry?  Published or unpublished?  Happy or sad?  Funny or serious???

Well, after careful consideration, I decided I would post an unpublished poem I wrote a few years ago for the one person in the world who has done the most for me in my quest to become a published children’s author:   my wife, Jenny. Through her unwavering support (emotional, physical, AND financial), I’m able to pursue this dream along with all the other people who have been so helpful to me, like my kids, friends, and fellow writers.

This is a traditional Elizabethan sonnet (three quatrains with an a/b/a/b, c/d/c/d, e/f/e/f rhyme scheme followed by a rhyming g/g couplet) which I wrote as part of my wedding vows.  No, it doesn’t read as a contemporary poem; it was deliberately written in a sort of old-fashioned, classic sort of style. I wanted to express the thought that even though poets throughout history have written words of undying love and immutable steadfastness, my love for her surpassed all their metaphors, all their similes, all that they could ever have imagined.

Yes, I’m a romantic; I make no apologies.

I conclude my poem with a suggestion for them as to what they should compare their love to…but it’s not a rose or a star.

Looking back on it (indeed, even shortly after I’d written it), there are things I would have changed, edited, or revised – but I was under a deadline, of course, and this was what I came up with.  Unlike my other poems, “Constancy” will never be put through revisions, however.  These were the words I spoke to my wife on August 10, 2008 – in a voice loud enough that the entire state of Massachusetts could hear, by the way – and so they shall remain.  These words were part of my vows and are as unalterable as my love and gratitude for her.

Thanks again for saying “Yes,” Honey.

For Jennifer

How many have, before me, tried in vain
To capture beauty, constancy, and love
Through fluent phrase, in happiness and pain,
And simile of summer, star, or dove?
Their words so eloquent, imagery lush –
In perfect imperfection testify,
For seasons change, the steadfast heavens rush
To swirl about themselves, and doves will die.
How best to show the one whom I adore
The fullness of my amorosity?
I fail to find a finer metaphor
Than that true love which you have shown to me.
The poets fail! Their thoughts do not dismiss;
‘Tis better they compare their love to this.

© 2008, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

Franki and Mary Lee at A Year of Reading are today’s Poetry Friday hostesses-with-the-mostestesses, so be sure to visit their blog for all of today’s links!


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42 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Constancy”

  1. My heart is beat, beat, beating. What a lovely tribute and commitment to the wonderful Jenny.

  2. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Miss Kitty « Write on the World

  3. Pingback: Poetry Friday Roundup: Poetry Catch of the Day and "The Boat" by Renee M. LaTulippe

  4. Wow Matt! That is beautiful! I’m touched that you shared this with us!

  5. gayleckrause on said:

    Such a romantic at heart. Your poem is simply lovely and I’m sure your wife is too. :)

  6. Eric Ode on said:

    Well done, Matt! A beautiful way to begin this day. :-)

  7. So beautiful and definitely one that should never see revision!

  8. Hey…I was in Massachusetts that day. Finally, an explanation for all that noise. :-) This is really lovely, Matt. What a beautiful tribute to her on your wedding day.

  9. I absolutely love the last two lines. Happy Anniversary!

  10. So lovely, Matt.

  11. Lovely! Happy anniversary!

  12. Sweet. Happy Anniversary!

  13. Beautiful tribute, Matt.

  14. maryleehahn on said:

    Happy Anniversary! I hope she knows how special it is to have a hubby who writes sonnets for her!

  15. What an amazing poem and so sweet!

  16. Happy Anniversary! Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for sharing your special sonnet. (Every wedding should have an original sonnet!)

  17. Happy Anniversary, and Blogiversary too, Matt. What beautiful, loving words. That last is wonderful.

  18. Thank you both! I really appreciate it.

  19. Stellar! What a gorgeous wedding memory. Happy Anniversary, Matt & Jenny, and Matt, happy Blogiversary too.

  20. As beautiful as last year, the year before, and many more years to come. Happy anniversary(s), Matt!

  21. I missed this last year–what a lovely tradition, and a heartfelt expression of your vow, too! Marriage really matters, don’t you find? <3

  22. Awwww, what a beautiful post, Matt. Joyeux Anniversaire! This is a tradition worth keeping. And… never apologize for romance. It is the essence of poetry.

  23. Irene Latham on said:

    Lovely and heartfelt and a wonderful tradition. Thanks for sharing, and happy anniversaries!

  24. Joyce Ray on said:

    Happy Anniversary to you and Jenny, Matt! You are indeed a romantic. Your wife will treasure the poem of your wedding vows forever. I really like the juxtaposition of perfect and imperfection. It really highlights your feeling that the poets’ chosen metaphors fall short of the mark!

  25. margaretsmn on said:

    Happy Anniversary! With a poem like that written with such conviction, your love will stand the test of time. My anniversary was the 7th. We celebrated 32 years by dancing! Here’s to you and more years than you can imagine.

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