In this installment, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs reads “Sonnet LXXVII” from Elegiac Sonnets by Charlotte Turner Smith. Dobbs was born in Wonju-Si, South Korea. Her debut collection, Paper Pavilion, received the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and was published in 2007. Currently, she is assistant professor of creative writing at St. Olaf College and lives in Minneapolis.
Charlotte Turner Smith, “Sonnet LXXVII” [From Elegiac Sonnets]
To the Insect of the Gossamer
SMALL, viewless aeronaut, that by the line
Of Gossamer suspended, in mid air
Float’st on a sun beam–Living atom, where
Ends thy breeze-guided voyage;–with what design,
In ether dost thou launch thy form minute,
Mocking the eye?–Alas! before the veil
Of denser clouds shall hide thee, the pursuit
Of the keen Swift may end thy fairy sail!–
Thus on the golden thread that Fancy weaves
Buoyant, as Hope’s illusive flattery breathes,
The young and visionary poet leaves
Life’s dull realities, while sevenfold wreaths
Of rainbow-light around his head revolve.
Ah! soon at Sorrow’s touch the radiant dreams dissolve!