+0
Hello!
I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask and I surely don't want to bother you - so please feel free to tell me, that I'm wrong in this place for the following problem, if that's the case. Suggestions where to turn to will be gladly accepted.
I'm not a native speaker - my mother tongue is German. I do some poetry in German and it happened, that I was invited to do some in English too. My favorite form is the Sonnet, so I tackled one. Here it is:

And were I but a dot



You are away. The hour has lost it’s pace.

and teary trices trickle through my skin.

Wherever turns my gaze to: dreary space,

a drop with neither ending nor begin.

You should be here, you promised me! My vice

is just: my trust, my hope, my heartsbeat’s chime!

And were I but a dot it would suffice:

You are, beloved, my very space and time.

But then I see you coming from afar,

a brand new spark within begins to shine

and nearer still you come and there you are:

There is no brighter joy than to divine

the huge new universe, that will arise,

the minute moment you look in my eyes.

My question is about the title, which is a part of line 7: is the usage of the subjunctive in this case correct ("were"). And I would really appreciate any other comments to the Sonnet you might have.
Thanks in advance
Santor
1 2 3 4 5
Comments  
SantorAnd were I but a dot
The subjunctive is fine.

Welcome to English Forums, Santor. Thanks for joining us! [<:o)]

Best wishes, - A.

Only the last line has a hiccup in the scan. If the others were not so perfect, one would scarcely notice.

with neither ending nor begin.

I'm not sure you can get away with this. Emotion: thinking
Thanks for your quick answer!

You are absolutely right - the line is a little bumpy - I pondered and came up with:

a place I tardy lose myself wherein

so the whole Sonnet would be:

And were I but a dot



You are away. The hour has lost it’s pace.

and teary trices trickle through my skin.

Wherever turns my gaze to: dreary space,

a place I tardy lose myself wherein.

You should be here, you promised me! My vice

is just: my trust, my hope, my heartsbeat’s chime!

And were I but a dot it would suffice:

You are, beloved, my very space and time.

But then I see you coming from afar,

a brand new spark within begins to shine

and nearer still you come and there you are:

There is no brighter joy than to divine

the huge new universe, that will arise,

the minute moment you look in my eyes.

Do you think I can get away with this?
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
No small gain without some great loss. Emotion: big smile

I think wherein's use as a conjunction trumps its use as an adverb.

How do you feel about "therein"?
Ah, there's that. But, as long as one tries, there might be a chance to minimize the loss. I guess the problem (for me at least) is a good rhyme for skin - so, I thought, what if the trices wouldn't trickle through my skin, that's no precise location anyway, but through my head, which they would do in the end, even if they'd trickle through the skin first.

So I did, what I should have done in the first place - go back to the story, I'm telling. And then came up with:

And were I but a dot



You are away. The hour has lost it’s pace.

and teary trices trickle through my head.

Wherever turns my gaze to: dreary space,

enshrouding me with misty, numbing dread.

You should be here, you promised me! My vice

is just: my trust, my hope, my heartsbeat’s chime!

And were I but a dot it would suffice:

You are, beloved, my very space and time.

But then I see you coming from afar,

a brand new spark within begins to shine

and nearer still you come and there you are:

There is no brighter joy than to divine

the huge new universe, that will arise,

the minute moment you look in my eyes.

I'm very thankful for you bearing with me!
"Heartsbeat's chime" is a mouthful, isn't it? What's wrong with "heartbeat's"?

There's something about "Wherever turns my gaze to" which sounds redundant.
I realize you need it for the scan.

You come up with alternatives so easily! - or so it seems. Emotion: smile

Your trickle makes me think of a Lewis Carroll line: And his answer trickled through my brain/ Like water through a sieve.

Best wishes, - A.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Note: its pace
julielaiNote: its pace
I make that danged mistake at least once a day! Emotion: embarrassed
Hello again,

after a full nights sleep (=3 hours) I think I can handle some more word jiggling. First, thanks julielai for the hint - duly noted. About the other stuff - I confess I had to look up what scan means in this context, so I came up with: referring to rhymed poetry, it means that metrical structure and rhyme are correct. Well, so I checked my very first version again, and well, the line "a drop with neither ending nor begin" scans, i.e. the metrical structure is correct as well as the rhyme. Perhaps the grammar is faulty, or one cannot use the construct "with neither...nor". Am I mistaken? Or possibly I did not understand your comment in the first place.
About the "heartsbeats's chime": yup, really not an intention, just a misspelling :-(
About the gaze that "turns to": yup, I realize that its redundant, but it is - at least in my opinion - not wrong, and the metrics must be obeyed - so I guess, I'll let it stand.

So, all in all, I come full circle (with the correction of "its" and "heartbeat's"):

And were I but a dot



You are away. The hour has lost its pace

and teary trices trickle through my skin.

Wherever turns my gaze to: dreary space,

a drop with neither ending nor begin.

You should be here, you promised me! My vice

is just: my trust, my hope, my heartbeat’s chime.

And were I but a dot it would suffice:

You are, beloved, my very space and time.

But then I see you coming from afar,

a brand new spark within begins to shine

and nearer still you come and there you are:

There is no brighter joy than to divine

the huge new universe, that will arise,

the minute moment you look in my eyes.

It might seem, that I come up with alternatives easily, but I assure you: I don't - its really hard work for me, I'm absolutely at the limits of my English abilities. So I'm really very grateful for you help and your encouraging comments!

Awaiting your kind reply(-ies)
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more