Our southern winter sun is kind.  Her ray
Beams down on us; and in July the rose
Still blooms and in its scented splendour shows,
We need not Shakespeare’s darling buds of May.
In spring the rose in sweet profusion lifts
Her flowers to the sky.  The sun, yet light,
Before the summer’s glaring, vengeful might,
Warms gently, and the rose bestows her gifts.
The sun of summer sears; but when it goes
Comes autumn, and a flush of flowers bright.
Yet I most love the winter’s gentle light,
When on the bush is one last perfect rose.
+++ My mother is as that one flawless rose:
+++ In winter, still her beauty brightly glows.


This is one of only two sonnets I have attempted; the other is, frankly, crap.  I’m quite proud of this one; until I tried writing sonnets I had NO IDEA of how hard they are.

I wrote it as a gift to my Mother on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

It’s not in the “traditional” Shakespearian rhyming scheme – it’s a little closer to the Italian rhyming scheme, but not identical.  Nevertheless, it fulfils the technical requirements to be considered a “true” sonnet, for there are a multiplicity of possible rhyming schemes, and the form can be summarised as 3 quatrains with a final couplet, in iambic pentameter (usually, but there are exceptions).

Incidentally, if you are from the Northern Hemisphere and wondering why it mentions winter and July, you should probably know that I live in Australia.  And yes, where I live it really is warm enough that roses will flower for 12 months of the year.