endings & beginnings

my new year’s message this year is this quaint little ditty. i was writing out the fair copy this morning when i was interrupted not by a man from porlock but a mother-in-law from neuss bearing presents. so i had to finish it on a fresh sheet of paper which i then stuck together so you can see that the interruption came at a pertinent point:

endings & beginnings31122013_00000

for those who cannot decipher my writing:


                                                                  endings & beginnings

                                                                  (in a winter’s garden)

BEGIN with the word that comes first, like light

from a twilit winter’s garden, when soft rainfalls

drop on dewy, leaf-pocked grass, showering bright

like a sudden flow of MOMENTS through the calls

of a goosequilled V tooting past, this starry night…


I sometimes try to freeze TIME, so it stops

and in an INSTANT feel and think all blend

and merge within MOMENTS—consciousness drops

like heaven’s rainfall in a winter garden—

inconsummate, unbegun, word without END,


but now SOMETIMES I forget such somethings,

and in your love I’ve found SEASONS to care

about the here, NOW, not some perfected place where

there are no more ENDINGS and BEGINNINGS.

                                                                                              freddie o

                                                                        viersen, 29-31 december 2013



  1. The “person from Porlock”, of course, interrupted Coleridge’s transcription of his opium-induced dream of Kubla Khan’s pleasure-dome. Is there something you’re not telling us about the source of your poem?
    Incidentally, my former boss came from Neuss. He used to interrupt me a lot, too.

    • haha we do have plenty of poppies in the garden but have given up trying to smoke them.. my visitor of course being my MIL was a nice neusser – she brought some pink champagne!

  2. Tony Fiennes says:

    An echo of “Let there be light” sets this fine sonnet in motion.

    The rhythm freezes in the sixth line in a way to echo the sense.

    The finality of the final line is very fine.

    Congratulations on a superb sonnet for the season.


  3. James Wood says:

    This is a powerful, inforgettable sonnet, charged with terrific power and lightness.

    It is the best new sonnet I have read in years.

    • thank you, james!

      it is new, indeed, by the timely spans of sonnets, and i am glad you found it to be inforgettable!

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