I have chosen to use the word ‘peace’ for my virtue here. B. Franklin uses ‘Tranquility” (his spelling) for the 11th virtue listed in his The Thirteen Virtues found in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, which I’m using as inspiration for this sonnet series. “Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.” (B. Franklin, 1793).
I Will Give Peace About Fourteen Lines
“I lived for a moment in a world so lovely, so inept
At twisted words and crooked deeds. It was as if
I slept and dreamt.”
—Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892-1950
I will give my friend Peace about fourteen lines
and try to get her to bring more peaceful things
if we are lucky we will hear how freedom sings
with calm and courage much a part of her designs
she conquers all that surrounds confuses and confines
anger and disorder with a soothing balm of serenity
she holds hands with agreement and compromise
mixing order together with justice and joy combines
for the many days and years ahead a constant press
of attention to our arguments likes and dislikes
she’ll give us direction and infuse us with love
with a Quaker’s gentle persuasion to be understood
she will kindly not make us feel guilty and confess
that it took us so long to learn to be kind and good.
Butterfly Wings and Chaotic Things
“I will put Chaos into fourteen lines” is the title of a sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 -1950) that was published in 1954.
I will give comrade Chaos just fourteen lines
riotous, rambunctious, raw, and ridiculous
rambling about with new physical confines
big stakes no stakes make mistakes meticulous
Now many books are written on Chaos theory
formulas and equations involve serious science
perusing randomness choosing using inquiry
as chaos upsets the apple cart with defiance
Then there is the famous (graph)* butterfly effect
where a butterfly’s wing changes the world
don’t rufous hummingbirds get any respect
how about how a baby’s eyelashes have curled
Or the McCartney Beatle that gave it a try with
“the butter wouldn’t melt so we put it in the pie.”
(The term ‘butterfly effect’ comes from a graph of “chaos” or chaotic things that looked like butterfly wings. “The butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in a large difference in a later state…”) and the butter pie?
Joey ‘Pepe Batbon’ Connolly (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Joey “Pepe Batbon” Connolly is a retired teacher and has been named a poet laureate of Tinian. He has taught English in CNMI public schools for the past 30 years. He has also taught in Alaska, New Orleans, and Las Vegas.