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Sword Sonnet
Author's Note

This is my first attempt at a sonnet. A sonnet is a 14 line poem in which every line must have exactly ten sylables. The rhyme scheme always has three groups of ABAB rhyming lines and a rhyming couplet at the end (see "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" or "Farewell! Thou Art Too Dear for My Possessing" in the classical poetry section). Thinking up 14 ten sylable lines, making them rhyme correctly, having the whole thing be gramtically correct and still make some sort of sense was very challenging. But it was fun as well. It was like putting together a jig-saw puzzle. I can see why Shakespeare wrote so many of them. It may have been a hobby of his, a stimulating activity to pass the time.

This particular sonnet of mine was inspired by my friend Cory. He owns a decorative sword. A sword's only use in this age of guns and bombs is as a decoration, but I imagined a time in history when every man had a sword hanging above his mantle and would take it down when the battle cry was sounded in his community. This normally docile instrument would suddenly become a weapon of carnage in the hands of a warrior. Images from Braveheart, Gladiator, Henry V, and other such war movies came to my mind as I wrote this. History's most brutal battles were fought with swords, when men still faced each other and fought hand to hand, instead of shooting and bombing each other from afar.

Swords themselves symbolize military might, and I also thought about the world's war against terrorism as I wrote this sonnet. As much as a victory in a war is a cause for celebration, any civilized nation will regret the lives lost in a conflict, both allies and enemies. Even after this battle is finished, when all terrorism has been pushed back into the annals of history, we will still regret that we ever had to have a war at all. We will have wished that we could have left our "sword" on the wall. Perhaps someday the only place where any weapons can be seen will be in museums.

Kevin Ranville