2022 Muspa Winner

WHEN

by Victoria Ojo Ilemobayo (Nigeria)

Darling,

When all stars are dim

And are tired of twinkling…

When the sun is gloomy

And refuses to give his light…

When your heart is heavy

And tired of transmitting melodies…

Darling,

Like Shakespeare, I will draw nigh

And flood your sour soul with rhythms

Of love.

2021 Muspa Winner

SHAKESPEARIAN SONNET 101

by Paul Adrian Fried (USA)

Iambic feet are weak at first, then strong —

a gentle peck, and then a deeper kiss.

Pentameter’s a line that’s five feet long,

so iambs in pentameter, like this,

can help to make a sonnet’s rhythm soar.

Now quatrains — those are four-line sets, you see,

and Shakespeare often rhymed lines two and four

in each quatrain — and also one and three.

In quatrain one, the poem begins its way.

In two, it still unwinds and roams about.

In three, a twist or turn comes into play,

and then the final couplet. Have no doubt:

The sonnet, like a ballroom floor, can be

a form where words go leaping, dancing free.