#467: Michael, the archangel, whose essential work . . .

Lo, for the third day in a row the NaPoWriMo prompt suggestion has yielded results for sonnetpalooza. Today’s prompt was to write a portrait poem that focuses on or plays with the meaning of the subject’s name. I decided on self-portrait for this little project–and for some crazy reason, perhaps in keeping with the additional project of discovering how many ways the sonnet form could be experimented upon, I decided to write an Acrostic Sonnet! An acrostic poem, as you may know, spells out the subject of the poem in the first letter of each line as it moves down the page. My first name has seven letters and my last name has six–oh, so close to 14! Well, what if I just used my first name twice? Now we’re talking. In this particular sonnet, rhyme is completely out the window–although in the concluding couplet I gave it a shot. The iambic pentameter also fell by the wayside. The acrostic strategy here is confining–it forces your hand pretty significantly. Trying to rhyme and count syllables on this one would produce more heartache than I think I could handle today.


Michael, the archangel, whose essential work
It was to smite demons and lead the righteous
Charge against Beelzebub, the devil 
Himself, in the glorious final battle 
Against evil, you know, in the prophesied
End times—he’s like a Biblical superhero.  
Lo, he comes with clouds descending. It’s
My name, but I am not at all that guy.
I’m not at all one who smites; I avoid
Conflict at all costs, try to keep the peace.
However, I tend to brood when things go south.
And, but, also, I am the silly archangel; 
Each devil I fight with levity, laughter, and 
Love. My own demons are the ones I’m after. 

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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