Sonnet IX

In picking flame azaleas for Thee,
I rob the world of a little colour.
Not much, maybe, but know that to some bee,
The world now appears a little duller.
In picking roses and orchids for Thee,
I steal from the world a few charming sights.
Few, perhaps, but realize that some bee,
Must now travel farther for its delights.
Yea, ’tis true! In picking flowers for Thee,
I leave the world a less beautiful place.
However, in giving flowers to Thee,
I change that with smiles I bring to Thy face.
Hence, whilst picking flowers leaves me uneased,
For reason of Thee, my mind is appeased.

06.21.95 – 06.30.95



Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.



Notes to this poem…

This was the poem that really got me into “flower and bee” mode for the last week in June 1995, during which time I had managed to squeeze in the much less demanding to write One Stanza Poem #46 that is among my favourites I had ever written.

Despite the various flowers in the poem, I did not sit and think of options from which to choose. Rather, those were among my favourites (see Sonnet II for a bigger but similar list) and I forced the rest to fit around them so they would be in the sonnet. It is not a tactic I would advise for a strict form like the sonnet. I know I wouldn’t try it today, if you could ever convince me to try writing another sonnet. I’m afraid I don’t have the patience for it today… nor the depression required to hold out hope to complete one of these things cause there wasn’t much better in life to strive for at the time!

Notice the flaming azaleas were not in Sonnet II. I had encountered the name one day in June 1995, and loved it so much I wanted it in a poem. That was how I worked in those days, at the peak of my poetry writing mastery. I wanted it and I got it!

As for the bee in the poem, that imagery was inspired by one of Emily Dickinson’s poems, all of which you can find and download from here, the most “brilliant” 377kB Word file you’ll ever download, I guarantee you. So much brilliance all capturable with a little computer memory! Anyway, I’m not sure which poem inspired the imagery in this poem because Emily Dickinson wrote a lot of poems with bees in them. She was a naturalist who loved her biology classes in the wild, and she is, by far and away, my favourite poet.

It was also Emily Dickinson’s love for nature that inspired me to write this poem, for it is about picking flowers. That, in essence, is destroying nature. I justified it in this love sonnet by comparing it to the smile of the recipient of those flowers as appeasing my conscience for the act. Well, I don’t know if I’d call it appeasing so much as “buying out”, non-monetarily, my conscience. I didn’t mean I felt better about it in the poem, conscience wise, but rather just better because the reward was enough to make me forget rather than less sorry.

By the way, you should know… I never give flowers to someone I’m in love with unless a poem also came with it. Sadly, I haven’t given flowers that often in my life thus far, but that’s not my fault. Not many girls have given the chance to love them over the years and if someone doesn’t want my love, I’m not going to bother trying to whine and beg and try to convince them and wasting flowers and time to write poems for them in the process. A little insight on their part for my value as a human being would be appreciated. As for the poetry, I’m happy to write poems like this for my own collection, thank you very much. I have written better poems for girls I’ve loved over the years, but as said in the notes for One Stanza Poem #46, I’m quite good at motivating myself without others being a motivational factor.

Please click here to see the only ten sonnets I have ever written.


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