My First Attempt At A Sonnet: Stromboli

Today I'm taking a break from the A to Z Blogging Challenge to share another poem with you. This is another one that was written for a recent assignment but this one wasn't well-received by the tutor who marked my work. It's called Stromboli, which is short and to the point. It's about the volcano, Stromboli, which sits in the Mediterranean Sea.

For this poem, I attempted to write a Shakespearean sonnet, which is something I've never done before. It was quite difficult and didn't come naturally, but that's fine. I think it comes naturally to very few people and is a skill that has to be honed over many years. It was good for building discipline though and working to iambic pentameter.


Some of the criticisms the tutor offered seemed to suggest that she didn't understand the significance of the landmark. For those who don't know, it's a volcano that constantly erupts. It's been erupting since 1934 and hasn't stopped. It sometimes has little temper tantrums and cranks up the volume a little, but it's not a violent volcano. It's just quietly seething all the time. She wanted me to change the choice of words I used to describe the locals on the beach. She wanted them rushing or tumulting but that would mean something very different. It would change the experience I had. The locals were calm and just living their everyday lives. They enjoyed being a tourist attraction and waved at our boat. They have houses right next to the lava stream and it's what makes the place so unique.

She also didn't want me to use the "woman scorned" line at all. I think she was offended by it. However, as with last week's poem, I won't be doing any more work on this. It is what it is, and I'm going to publish it here rather than look for a traditional publisher. If I do decide to pursue publication for any poetry, I'll start afresh.


Next to a river flowing tangerine,
A village lit by candles remains safe,
Ginostra's locals, happy to be seen,
They stand on black ash beaches just to wave.

Just like a woman scorned who cannot speak,
Stromboli's quiet anger's permanent,
This lava lighthouse very seldom sleeps,
Serene but overflowing, never spent.

No flames of fury, ruby glitter bombs,
This silent giant smokes all night and day,
Its sulphur air will linger, thick and strong,
The only sound the crashing of the waves.

You'd think we'd run away from this in fright,
Instead we sail towards it in the night.


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