Vol. 22, No. 5,514 - The American Reporter - September 7, 2016

by Joe Shea
Bardenton, Fla.
December 29, 2009

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BRADENTON, Fla. -- I wrote this poem, which is flawed as a sonnet (as were some of Shakespeare's), at a deli and coffee shop in Santa Monica, Calif., on New Year's Eve 1982. The deli is gone now, and the poem, too, has changed in several ways over the years - a word here, and years later, a word there - and I probably never read it the same way twice. Worst of all, a phrase is missing from the recorded version. I'm not sure how that happened. The version below is more or less complete.

For those of you unfamiliar with old-fashioned American customs, it was common in centuries past to tear out pages, or leaves, of the old calendar and burn them in the fireplace. The rest you'll have to figure out for yourself.

Thanks for reading - and listening!

Postscript: That's our family home in the picture. We have been there 100 years this year. It just seemed so appropriate to the season!

A Sonnet For The New Year

The old year fades to next, and gone are days
When laughter leapt with love, and love cried out;
And days when songs like these set love ablaze,
As though from Rapture's mouth, are hurried out;
O grief-torn days, o reborn days, all gone;
And days of peace and prayer, of rage and fear,
And love unwon, The old year rustles on;
And gone the day When love set loose a deer,
all done. And as the hours wind around,
let's fill a final minute with a poem
The years may pause upon; I hear the sound
of crackling leaves, and wend me off towards home.

  Our moment's made of light, and on its steed
  Let's ring the New Year in; Good luck! Godspeed!

  -- Joseph Patrick Shea

Copyright 2016 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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