A Thanksgiving Sonnet

This sonnet came out of a delightful friendly competition – to write a Petrarchan sonnet on the theme of ‘Thanksgiving.’ As it happens, Malcolm Guite and I both ended up with references to Charles Williams in our sonnets! Here is Malcolm’s excellent sonnet – which also appears in his volume Sounding the Seasons, which you should buy straightaway if you haven’t yet – and here is mine:


I have no words of praise and thanks today

That would suffice to even make a start,

But only empty hands, a quiet heart,

A joyful debt that I cannot repay.

The dry and empty cup can truly say

The measure of its need; now not in part

But wholly filled with light and love, what art

Of song or verse can praise enough, this day?

O Morning Star! If any word is true,

It points to you, the end of all desire,

And draws its truth from you, the hidden place

That all will find who seek. This gift from you

I’ll praise with words you give: through dark and fire

I’ll sing and pray with coinherent grace.

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