A Magical Curse (English sonnet)

by Ben Pickard   Oct 4, 2018

Though oftentimes, words sooth and comfort us,
I have, of late, found this is in reverse:
How can we love or even start to trust
A verse that leaves us lighter in the purse?
Each line that's bled costs half a bottle more,
And sonnets tease and wile away my nights;
What ghastly words would force us to adore
The perfect view without a shaft of light?
Unquenchable is ev'ry poet's thirst -
A sacrificial lamb upon the stone;
With pens that scribble magic as a curse
And words that cut the writer to the bone.
Do not expect to weave a goodly spell
Without the water leaking from the well.


Ben Pickard


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Latest Comments

  • 7 months ago

    by CJ Maleney

    Judges comments

    A Magical Curse (English sonnet) (by Ben Pickard) 10 points.

    Ben is a complete master of poetry as anyone who is familiar with his work will know. Regardless of what style he chooses, he always seems to capture us all in his moment. I'll be honest sometimes it's been a moment of madness and anger. (Just my opinion).

    Many have been the magical things he can and has created. When he has a bee in his bonnet about something that irks him. Or perhaps inspired him fantastic things flow.

    For this reason I have decided not to focus on style or format (everyone knows it is flawless as always) but I think on this occasion I would rather focus on content.

    I thought this poem is an observation about how poets desire to receive praise and reward for their work. Many need this, others simply do not care and post just to have an outlet.

    It also made me think about "The poets thirst". This is noticeable for two reasons. Yes it ties into this section of the piece. The thirst for critical appraisal? To belong? To just be noticed?

    The thirst is such poignant part of this poem for me, as is the cost.

    Does it take a drink to feel relaxed and fluid enough to write poetry? For many a poet this is the case. Sometimes it takes an addiction of one sort or another to wash or numb away the normality (or struggles) of day to day life and to let the mind flow.

    Sad but for so so many it is true.

    The sacrificial lamb made me think of all who regularly post their poems. Every single thing posted is open to both praise and criticism. Poets essentially put their head on a chopping block and wait for anyone with an axe to attempt literary decapitation.

    Yet we all do it! Why?

    To end at the beginning

    Yes words can sooth and yes they can hurt and wound. Sometimes words are beautiful. Sometimes they will make you fly or cry.

    I don't think I've ever read so much in 14 lines that made me think, feel and question so much. Possibly I have gotten it completely wrong, it is however my feeling on this work of genius.

    Probably the best poem I have read in a very long time.

    • 7 months ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Thanks so much for this fantastic comment Craig and for your time as judge.

  • 8 months ago

    by Meena Krish

    My this indeed a lovely, tender and moving Sonnet Ben
    well done...well done! Congrats on the Win!

  • 8 months ago

    by Mark

    Beautiful Sonnet win!

  • 8 months ago

    by Milly Hayward

    Congratulations on another well deserved win all my best wishes Milly x

  • 8 months ago

    by - Mr. Darcy

    Congratulations - whoop whoop!

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