We Wanted To Save Them All

Anna M. Evans

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke 1904 letter

My Life As A Polish Nun During WWII

by Anna M. Evans

We ran an orphanage in old Gdansk,
which overflowed in nineteen thirty-nine.
Daily, the Germans rolled by in their tanks.
We kept our heads well down and toed the line.
But any child that came here in the night,
no questions asked, was never turned away–
starving, beaten, sick, half-dead with fright,
Christian or Jew–with orphans, who can say?

We had to teach the Jewish ones the creed,
so the Gestapo wouldn’t know our game.
The irony of sowing that small seed,
it wasn’t lost on me, though not our aim.
Children are dear to God, gentile or Jew.
We wanted to save them all; we saved a few.

Today’s poems are examples of how the sonnet structure remains relevant.  A wide variety of writers continue to explore the structure that 14 lines imposes and the power that it also unleashes.  Rhymed or unrhymed, free verse or experimental, the idea of connecting your writing to the past and writers that have influenced your imagination is something all poets wrestle.  Anna M. Evans has contributed a number of fine sonnets during her career and I applaud her use of the first person in imagining the stories of others and bringing them to life in the sonnet form in the poem above.  In her imagination the sonnet becomes a polaroid picture, a snap shot of literature that challenges me to fill in the blanks, even if the margins are slightly faded. 
I would be curious to know if Warren even considered the fact that her poem was fourteen lines?   She did not employ rhyming or limit number of syllables, she let the ideas flow to a grand conclusion.   Her words made me step back and think.  I realized that for someone who normally buys lots and lots of new music; I haven’t purchased a single new CD or record of new music since the start of the pandemic. I have only bought a few old used jazz records, trying to create a different vibe to the growing monotony of staying at home.  
Do you have a favorite new pop song from 2020?  Please share. 

Something is Coming Toward Us

By Alli Warren

Flaunting in the atrium, ostentatious at the gates
I saw a shooting star thru a window on Alcatraz Ave
& cladding struck up against those who demand
We stomach the stick and tend the commode
They’re selling trees in the paint store! trees in the paint store
Datebook chips in the soft skin of our wrists
On NBC, CNN, and NPR broken windows are weeping
We’ll have 35 apples and shrieking in the thickets
Aloft in the air golden and golden the dial among the mounds
So much is stunted in understanding of what a light can be
They storm the scrimmage line and clear-cut bran and germ
We want the petal unto itself, the unalterable vessel
The arc end of the precipice grows 1.9% annually
What was popular music like before the crisis?

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A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations. I am pleased to offer Fourteenlines as an ad and cookie free poetry resource, to allow the poetry to be presented on its own without distractions. Fourteenlines is a testament to the power of the written word, for anyone wanting a little more poetry in their life.

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