Chad Abushanab’s poem “Here on Earth” smoothly combines the overarching shape of a Shakespearean sonnet with the ABCB rhymes and tetrameter rhythms more common to ballads and hymns to create a tender, limpid hymn of loss. This gentle blending of elements from different forms is artfully mirrored by the poem’s content, in which the speaker’s, and therefore also the reader’s, senses are synesthetically smudged into one—e. g., “I shut my eyes against the cold.” The closing couplet is one of the features typical of a Shakespearean sonnet, but it purposefully avoids providing a sense of complete closure by ending on a preposition, from. This soft-sounding word rarely receives the burden of emphasis that it is given here.
Write a poem—a sonnet, a ballad sonnet, or a poem in blank verse or unrhymed tetrameter
lines—that brings readers tantalizingly close to, and yet meaningfully withholds, closure. Try doing this by finishing with a rhyming couplet that ends on a preposition. For an added challenge, include an example of synesthesia in your poem.