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[personal profile] lit_luminary
I wrote these months ago and never posted them, so I might as well rectify that.  (If you like them, please see the 'sonnets' tag for others.)

Betrayal is by far the sharpest pain.
He never has been one to call life kind.
He cannot drive the voices from his brain:
The Judas here is only his own mind.
He’s struggled for a balance all these years:
Some obstacles he’ll never make to yield.
And still somehow he’s fallen, and he fears
That logic’s turned away, and cannot shield
Against the demons he himself has wrought.
The laughter of a ghost rings in his head;
Some memories will not rest as they ought.
So now, what’s real? Who’s living, and who’s dead?
There’s nothing left here that he dares to trust:
The future crumbles, gray as ash and dust.

Line in the Sand
Ruined. Poisoned. Words for a line crossed,
For the removal of a wedding band.
House knows too well conviction has a cost,
That moral lines are often drawn in sand.
He never ruined anyone. Chase knew:
Either live a lie or choose to pay truth’s price.
He’s strong enough to do as he must do:
He’d known that truth demanded sacrifice.
And yet the lesson’s bitter, and the scar
This breach will cause…House hopes its line is clean.
Wonders if, just perhaps, he pushed too far—
If more damage was done than he had seen.
But none was caused by him or was his aim.
How could she think that he’s the one to blame?

Kyrie Eleison
He’d once been soothed by the rituals here:
Murmured prayers and the scent of incense smoke.
But there’s no comfort now, nothing but fear
And guilt that’s wrapped around him like a cloak.
And yet—somehow he can’t say he was wrong.
There hadn’t been another way to choose.
Just watch the bodies fall, a bloodied throng?
Too many lives at stake, too much to lose.
He leaves the church. The burn of alcohol
Begins a cycle etched in memory.
Could he have guessed he had so far to fall?
Or hadn’t he paused long enough to see?
Some choices, made, move beyond all control,
And some lines, crossed, are scars carved on the soul.

Date: 2011-06-21 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I finally found the courage to read your sonnets and... well, they're easier on me than I thought. The point, apparently, is that I'm so familiar with the sonnet form. Poetry in English still feels weird. It's in a sense like singing in German - all those consonants, like hurdles in your way. Plus when you come to a vowel sound you sometimes end up realizing it doesn't rhyme, and it's like a broken promise - and then it's clear that you mispronounced another word a few lines before, so you have to go back and do it again.

Upon re-reading, these problems faint. And yet, the sonnets become more, not less, weird. One problem is graphical: in Italy, there's always a blank line after each quartet or tercet. Here you have to do all the effort and keep counting in your head. But finally what's upsetting is the meter - ten syllables per line, and the accent is always on the last. Unnatural for some who's used to sonnets being composed of endecasillabi in a language where words ending with an accent are called tronche, like a cut tree, while those with the accent one syllable before the last are called piane as in flat, right, normal. We even have sdrucciole (slippery), words whose accent is on the syllable before the penultimate one, and bisdrucciole, well I guess you can imagine what those are.

It's like French, except the majestic ring of the alexandrine with his two half verses is missing. Or maybe it's just I'm not used to this meter, while a fascination with seventeenth century French playwrights has made me face a large doses of alexandrines.

Sorry, back to your sonnets. The first was even too true. It broke my heart that there was no Wilson in it, not even as Judas, but that's canon for you. The second raised a number of interesting questions - as did the Dibala episode. But yes, it isn't House's fault. The third... I don't know. I wasn't so impressed by Chase's choice to kill Dibala, and I am appalled by people seeing parallels between that and Cameron, House, Wilson and Thirteen helping dying people find a decorous death (and Thirteen even goes to prison for it, while Wilson risks his career until House de-pants him). You respect canon, and it's a canon I find difficult to accept - a very American canon, born in a country where killing murderers is viewed as justice and not as a bloody, useless crime belonging to a barbaric past, like torture.

I hope you aren't too bothered by the too-long and mostly OT comment, I always like what you write and am impressed that you can write sonnets at all. I find it so fiendishly difficult ven in Italian.

Date: 2011-06-21 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wasn't bothered by the comment--actually, when I post poetry, I've learned not to expect many comments, so it was wonderful to get one at all. I was delighted you tried my sonnets, since I can only imagine how difficult it is to read poetry in a foreign language. (I was very interested in the introduction to Italian poetic meter, so don't worry that you went off-topic with that.)

And there is, in my book, no such thing as a comment that's too long.

I generally do respect canon--at least when canon has earned it--but you make a valid point in saying that my view of the Dibala situation is through an American lens. I don't draw parallels between that and physician-assisted suicide (and no one should, frankly, for the sake of accuracy as well as ethics), but even growing up in the culture I have, I find the death penalty problematic: killing a murderer doesn't solve anything.

In this case, I can accept Chase's actions because of the numbers (i.e., one death instead of two million), but I would have preferred that Dibala had been dealt with by the U.N. or some other legitimate body before genocide became a concern.

Date: 2011-06-21 07:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Glad you weren't bothered!
As per Dibala, my very scant knowledge of the history of the Third World is that killing a blood-thirsty dictator doesn't necessarily improve the situation (points at Iraq, whistles).
Plus, killing someone as their attending physician, using medicine to do it, is a terrible, terrible crime. It's sad that canon shows the Catholic priest telling Chase he has to go the police - because that's not what was told to the child-raping priests.
I was even upset about someone using a "happy happy joy joy" tag to describe Bin Laden's murder - in their place, I would have wanted him to rot in prison, and I can't ever be happy about a death, no matter how many murders the killed person has on his conscience.
[My country (Tuscany) abolished death penalty more than two hundred years ago, afaik as first in Europe.]

Date: 2011-06-21 07:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Point again: killing the bloodthirsty dictator really doesn't do that much appreciable good. Real life isn't a fairytale, where everything is solved once the hero kills the villain.

(As far as Dibala, I remember thinking when I watched the episode that "the moderates are taking over; there's hope for peace talks" was at best a gross oversimplification of what was likely to be a bloody process. Whatever can be said about the means [and I admit that many damning things can be said], Chase's intentions were good--but ironically, he may very well have ended up making a bad situation much worse.)

I live in NY, and could see the smoking ruins of the Towers against the skyline from my home, about 20 miles away. I'll never forget 9/11. But shooting Bin Laden didn't undo anything, and didn't bring us any closer to stopping the wars. (It seems so stupid, so meaningless, to go to war for vengeance and answer murder with more deaths.)

Date: 2011-06-21 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Going in reverse order...

Kyrie makes an excellent point. Things can't be undone, and some of them change a person irrevocably. Unfortunately canon never followed through with this, just used it as an excuse to usher Cameron off stage and then forgot about it.

Lines In The view of canon was different here. I thought House was deliberately trying to get between Chase and Cameron in the aftermath of Dibala. So in that sense I thought he was to blame. That aside, of course he had nothing to do with Dibala. He does encourage his people to make conscious choices and to question the rules...but that's a far cry from what Cameron accused him of. Then again she was pretty psycho the last 2 seasons.

I saved the best for last. You did a marvellous job in Broken, and I generally hate everything to do with that episode. The introspective direction you chose here works far better for me than what canon gave us.

Date: 2011-06-21 09:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you very much for the comments! (I don't expect much commentary on poetry, so it's always a pleasant surprise.)

I go into more depth with the sonnet redoublé ( I wrote around the events of "The Tyrant" and surrounding episodes, which you'll probably enjoy if you liked these sonnets and the fic I wrote for that arc--they never should have swept that under the rug, which is part of the reason I keep coming back to it.

I don't think we disagree as far as "Lines in the Sand"--I see House pushing confrontation of the truth, not necessarily the implosion of the marriage; however, he also knew that the truth would lead to the implosion of the marriage, so yes, he did contribute to the divorce. He was innocent of "poisoning" Chase's morals, however, and that's where the sonnet came from. (And I agree completely with your reading of Cameron.)

"Broken" was too idealized the way canon presented it (to say nothing of the incompetence displayed by those running the institution). I'd have preferred a psychological portrait to watching House run rings around the Mayfield staff, so that's where I went.

Again, thank you.


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