Last week's make was inspired by a new goal I have set for myself: to read all of Shakespeare's plays by the time Jason finishes seminary. I decided to do this for two reasons: 1) because my exposure to Shakespeare is embarrassingly thin and 2) to slow the intellectual atrophy that ensues from a job that is not intellectually challenging. So far, I've read The Tempest and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and I'm working on Troilus and Cressida. Reading so much iambic pentameter moved me to write a sonnet last week. But what to write about? I decided since I've already developed the metaphor of my tree--and since it's such an apt metaphor for my life at the moment--to write a sonnet about that. It's definitely not the most brilliant piece I've ever written. My writing is rusty. But the point was just to write something, start to finish. So without further disclaimer or ado, here it is:
I've heard it said, "The fruit defines the tree."
What shall we say when branch and leaf and root
Are all the measure that our eyes can see?
How shall we name the tree without the fruit?
We may be tempted to assign the blame
Of lacking crop to inactivity
And say the tree does not deserve a name
If idle is what it decides to be.
But if this is our verdict, we despise
The very work by which the fruit is won:
How desperately the root for water cries,
How faithfully the sapling seeks the sun.
If day by day, the tree is slowly grown
In season, by its fruit it will be known.