Sonnet: A Jester Doffs His Cap and Bells — a Poem


“Jesters do oft prove prophets.”

William Shakespeare, King Lear


Should I a jest upon our nature make
and slight the finer aspects of our love
a cad more I should be.  A goof for sake
of laughter’s compensation.  O, above
all else I’d be a fool who lives for wit,
cavorts across the stage’d heart — who sees
an open door for quip — be swept in it;
but laughing hard I’d lose your love.  No pleas
my honor would restore, nor passions fire.
Away I would see my dearest depart
to never return, all love would expire.
And fool I’d be, a jester sans a heart.

Then thus I here now take a pledge, for true.
No jest will come between my lips — and you.


* * *

No prompt.  No challenge.  I just felt the desire to attempt wrestling the bears — Sonnet form and Iambic Pentameter.




39 thoughts on “Sonnet: A Jester Doffs His Cap and Bells — a Poem

  1. This is excellent sonnet form, Charley! I love that you en jamb lines and play the punctuation to its fullest. Knowing how much you battle the meter of the form, I would say you have conquered it here! Consider posting this to OLN on Thursday; it needs to be seen 🙂


  2. Jill’s spot on about the enjambment and punctuation, and you’ve kept to iambic pentameter pretty much throughout, Charley. I love the way you’ve adopted Shakespearean language and phrasing, especially ‘And fool I’d be, a jester sans a heart’, and what a great final couplet!


    • You caught the change in 10 and 11. It’s the turning point in the poem. I’ve discovered that even the Bard sometime strayed in his sonnets (“Coral is far more red than her lips’ red” and “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” are arguably not pure iambic… though many strain themselves proving them to be), and many poets find the mixing of meters to be effective.

      I am truly glad you enjoyed this!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Catching up on sonnet reading… the midst of reading the Tuesday Poetics as well. Ah you’ve wrestled with the sonnet form well, my friend. Good topic….lest the jester offend the lover and then the lover should depart. Excellent subject….good language choice. And good decision too! 🙂


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