Remembering a Great Poet

This is one of the poems by the late poet, Mary Harper Sowell. She was a dear friend as well as a cousin to me. We attended many poetry workshops as members of Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas. From her, I learned how to write sonnets as well as many other poetry patterns. She was the queen of iambic pentameter. This one is the Miltonic Sonnet.


by Mary Harper Sowell

Old Tree, with thickened limb and gnarled root,
We are so much alike. There’s no mistake
Our stubborn Ozark roots grow deep and make
Our faith that God protects us resolute.
From watching you I have become astute.
You’ve taught me how to bend and not to break
When ill winds cause my feeble limbs to ache
Through storm succeeding storm in quick pursuit.
I feel affinity with you today.
I see our sapling children gathered near
Where you are standing, tall and proud and strong.
When I am gone I know that you will stay,
Enriching lives of my descendants here
With sheltering arms and sermons in your song.





9 comments on “Remembering a Great Poet

  1. Linda Baie says:

    Beautifully done. I love so many poems about trees, Freeda. It’s special that this is your cousin and poet buddy too!


  2. dotlatjohn says:

    Such a nice tribute to your cousin and friend. It’s a beautiful sonnet.


  3. Dot Hatfield says:

    This is beautiful.


  4. Ginger Kemp Pruett says:

    Liked this one.


    • From Mary, I learned how to craft a poem, especially the sonnet. Not that I can always do a good work, but I can sort of see when it’s not working and when to put it into the wastebasket. I never knew there were so many kinds of sonnets. Mary even created her own pattern, the Harper sonnet. Named for her grandfather, who was my grandfather’s brother.


  5. Catherine Johnson says:

    Sorry for your loss, Freeda. What a beautiful sonnet.


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