What by night would seem adept,
And then, by day become a blur?
Last night’s shadows, over slept,
Reluctantly they stir.
What by night would well appear,
And by day be all but hidden?
The candlestick, the chandelier,
Of use the two are ridden.
What by night is wide awake,
And then by day retires?
The possum by a moonlit lake,
With sun its scene expires.
. The moon by sun is chased away,
. And so last night becomes today.
© Tim Grace, 3 January 2011
To the reader: We live in a riddle; a reasonable muddle. A right answer is often so lame with correctness it needs a little adjustment. Some creative correction is what makes good things better; and better things great. From bland to grand takes an obscure course. At arrival, having passed through the riddle, a good answer is adorned with the crazy sparkle of unexpected discovery… aha!
To the poet: The familiar form of the riddle, with its question/answer format, frames this sonnet. The phrase “What by night?” established the seek and find enquiry. Two problems followed. Firstly, contrivance. The thought of ‘what happened over-night while I was sleeping?’ is easily outstretched; laboured to a tedious length. Secondly, miscellany. There’s little achievement in reaching into a grab-bag of ideas. Lucky-dips may write lists but not poems. What rescued this sonnet is its final couplet… an answer worthy of the question.