#NaPoWriMo: A Poem A Day – Day 16

Hi everyone! Today is day sixteen of the national poetry month competition.

Here’s my offering >>>


[Instructions:] From NaPoWriMo Day Sixteen … Write a curtal sonnet. This is a variation on the classic 14-line sonnet. The curtal sonnet form was developed by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and he used it for what is probably his most famous poem, “Pied Beauty.” A curtal sonnet has eleven lines, instead of the usual fourteen, and the last line is shorter than the ten that precede it. Here are two other examples of Hopkins’ curtal sonnets: “Ash Boughs,” and “Peace.”


Birds escaping cage
Image courtesy of ‘the fairy path’ via Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/crow-bird-cage-cage-bird-animal-2191180/


The Caged Bird Won’t Sing


A flare of white as you take to the air.

A solitary cry follows the down

draft as you glide over souls crouched in fright.

Through my window I peer against the glare

but see only a pale reflected frown.

The utter blackness has robbed me of sight.


Numbed fingers grip unyielding prison bars

I’ve lived and laboured behind since lockdown

put me in this lone cage that shields—airtight.

Owl in flight taunts this lonely, caged nightjar.

Such things aren’t right.


I’ve never written any kind of sonnet before, so this is a first for me 🙂

Have a wonderful day, everyone, and I’ll see you tomorrow with Day Seventeen on the NaPoWriMo 30 Day Poetry Challenge 🙂 


© Harmony Kent 2022


18 Comments on “#NaPoWriMo: A Poem A Day – Day 16

  1. This poem is fantastic, Harmony! I, too, have never written a sonnet, but I can recognize a great poem, and this one definitely fits into that category. 🙂

  2. I am not all that familiar with sonnets, Harmony, but in my humble opinion, you did great for your first try.

  3. Powerful, Harmony, and well done on the sonnet. It really captures that trapped feeling.