“Rivermouth” by Eleanor Channell

Eleanor Channell


If you weren’t here, I’d fear the surge
of surf. I’d watch the moon wax and wane,
feel the constant pulling of tides, the urge
to drown myself in pity and booze, to explain 
my life as “Cape Disappointment” with hard luck
spinning and winning souls like mine, a jetty
of riprap pointing to my faults, the muck
of my past too deep to dredge. But you say
you see in me a strength that strengthens you,
a heart that yearns for your heart and finds it,
upsetting even the odds we thought we knew,
renewing old hopes, confounding old conflicts.
All I know is we’re here, my love, our bed warm,
your body a bulwark to ride out the storm. 

from Rattle #67, Spring 2020
Students of Kim Addonizio


Eleanor Channell: “Last fall I enrolled in Kim Addonizio’s online course ‘Exploring the Sonnet’ from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her passion for the sonnet was infectious, even through the Ethernet. While I was familiar with traditional Petrarchan and Shakespearean forms, having been a high school English teacher for many years, Kim encouraged me to explore the spirit of these box-like poems. In her class, I discovered that sonnets are the ideal vehicles for reflecting or meditating on a subject, then turning that subject inside out with a shift in thought, or an unexpected ‘escape’ towards the end. The poem uses rhyme and meter, albeit loosely, within the sonnet’s traditional subjects of love and nature. Still, I hope ‘Rivermouth’ is free enough and plain enough to convey what Kim was advocating in her course: a synthesis of feeling and passion enhanced by thoughtful and deliberate consideration of form.”

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