d’Verse Sonnet

crazy mary

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This is a French Sonnet with 14 lines iambic hexameter of 12 syllables, with a rhyme scheme of aabb ccdd eeff gg. The sonnet is inspired by one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs, Crazy Mary. In the song, the family comes upon Crazy Mary after she’s already an adult. The story told here is how she got that way.

 

CRAZY MARY

Carefree girl, at homestead safe, with her family

When 10, a flu stole her mom, in great agony

When 12, wild boar took her dad to the hereafter

When 14, sis ran away, not seen thereafter

*

When 15, brother left for war, never to return

Alone, lived by chickens, snares, veggies – and she learned

Baker’s visits from the town, brought her coins and bread

Fates decreed, death passed her by, took her mind instead.

*

Fifty years going by, the town church keeps her fed

Dollies, faded, frayed now, sleep rowed within her bed

Songs she sings them nightly, rhymes so long remembered

Odd structured melodies, in them madness rendered

*

One stormy night lightning struck, Mary burnt to ash

A girl again, with family, sweet peace at last

 

 

 

24 Comments Add yours

    1. msjadeli says:

      i’ve always felt the story of crazy mary needed to be told. yes, a very sad tale 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very well written, I must add. I really felt for her all the way through.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A very well crafted poignant tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      you know how a poem writes itself? it’s like this one did. her story needed to be told

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh sure, I know that! Indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Please realise as I comment, I’m teaching myself too, never having written a sonnet before. You mention iambic pentameter – I think that will then be ten syllables or five feet of an unstressed then stressed syllable?
    I remember the song and I think you’ve told her story very well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I’m the wrong person to ask about sonnets and iambic pentameter, as my understanding is limited at this point. I think it means exactly what you say, but if you find yourself at the end of the syllables and don’t have enough stressed syllables, add another syllable to stress rather than going short on them. Petru, I”m glad you feel I did her story justice. It’s a story that needed to be told.

      Like

  3. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice line: “Fates decreed, death passed her by, took her mind instead.” And I liked the resolution at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you Frank!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh what a sad story… I can understand what made her crazy… just a small comment reflecting Petru’s . Penta in pentameter stands for five, so iambic pentameter has to have ten syllables with fiver stressed one.
    With twelve syllables (and six stressed ones) the meter is iambic hexameter…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much for the correction, Bjorn. Petru asked the wrong person… Yes, Pearl Jam started the tale mid-story. She deserved more than that.

      Like

  5. Sabio Lantz says:

    I just finished watching “Beautiful Boy” and then read this poem — what a strange coincidence. well done fiction, that could be real. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I haven’t seen it. Is “Crazy Mary” a track in it? Thank you, glad serendipity connected them 🙂

      Like

      1. Sabio Lantz says:

        No, the films is about drug addiction in a young boy and the torture it puts loved ones through.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          oh, ok. May I ask how my sonnet reminds you of the film? Sounds like it would a sad, agonizing story.

          Like

          1. Sabio Lantz says:

            “Beautiful Boy” is about a kid, unlike Mary, with a life that just gets worse and worse under the influence of meth. Kids (and Mary) start out beautiful children, then life goes down the drain. Indeed, agonizing stories

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              So sorry to “witness” a tragic downward trajectory in any person, which can certainly have an emotional impact on the witness…

              Like

  6. Mish says:

    So sad that there are many stories like this one. Since I love Pearl Jam, I especially enjoyed the story you told of Mary, and also the passion for telling it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Mish, so glad you connected with it as part of the “untold part” of the Pearl Jam song.

      Like

  7. A nice re-imagining of her story. I want to say that it’s not iambic as you claim it to be – but have learned that Australian and American English can have very different inflections and stress different syllables of a word, so maybe it is iambic (de-DA, de-DA) for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Not sure but will be looking them over in the next week and will recheck. Yes the pronunciation/stress is quite different from country to country.

      Like

  8. memadtwo says:

    An entire lifetime in 14 lines…but the ending completes the circle. Much like an old folk song. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much for your feedback on the sonnet. It is appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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