Passing Memory in the Night

Passing Memory in the Night


Wind fleeting rushes with the witch through night

Faces pass softly flashing in the tent

Eager hands clasp a weak unsteady light

Flaring wildly after her your flame leant


She lingers to look into eyes which spark

See your burning flame and hear your true name

She loves how you make shift away the dark

Knows that nothing can ever be the same


Flames lively flare to whisper “I am yours”

Waver “Cannot lose you in blinding day”

Turns halo of ginger and blue colours

And under eyes the hazy shadows sway


Their eyes alight through radiances send

Twinkle that all they wished for was a friend


In ‘Passing Memory in the Night,’ the literary device of imagery allows the reader to perceive the sight of the rushing motion of the witch, “eyes which spark,” the colours of ginger and blue in the halo, and faces flashing as they pass. The reader may perceive the sound of the flames’ brief outbursts when they flare to whisper I am yours.” The reader may perceive the feelings of fleeting wind, eagerness as hands clasp light, and its heat as it burns. The literary device of allusion used in the title and throughout the poem may let the reader recall that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow composed verse with the idea of “ships that pass in the night.” “Their eyes alight through radiances send” is an indirect reference to the idea that people sometimes send meaningful messages by briefly looking at each other’s faces. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writes, “Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.” The symbolism in the lines, “Flaring wildly after her your flame leant,” “Faces pass softly flashing in the tent,” and “See your burning flame and hear your true name” might allow the reader to associate flames with the abstract idea of the liveliness of the thoughts and feelings which create the characters of people.

This sonnet is dedicated to a wizard.


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