A Sequence of Sonnets

Poems in Category: A Sequence of Sonnets

Sonnets on themes of the Isle of Man’s unique countryside, on human existence, faith, the nature of time and memory by the writer, artist, musician, poet and beloved headteacher, W T Quirk (1908 – 1977).
For an alphabetical list of titles of these poems Click here


Niarbyl BeachWhere can you go if you would be alone?

Into the forest?  There you will not lack

For company; nature ...


Well may we marvel at titanic thrust

That drives a projectile into the skies,

Defying gravity to quit the earth...


Beyond the sun is the immeasurable void;

Beyond the laughter is a gulf of tears.

The bright facade of living ...

Blind Beauty

(After Rabindranath Tagore)

One morning I was walking in the park

Amongst the flowers that were lifting high

Their faces ...

Bonfire Night

What new-made comets climb the murky skies

And each in lurid light their transient rune,

Ephemeral as a whim that ...


To utter pious hopes is not enough !

No unctuous platitudes can heal the sores

That corruscate the leprous hide ...


Eyes golden in the morning sun he sat

Hunched on the garden wall, his smoky fur

Vibrant with leashed energy, ...


Upon a board of squares the pieces stand

Neatly in rows, opposed for skilful war;

The infantry in front, the ...

Cronk Sumark

Here in past days a hilltop fortress stood

When life was insecure, and lawless greed

Stalked through this Island as ...


Let pagan mistletoe hang in the hall

And holly with its prickles and its bright

Vermilion berries grace the festive ...


Is there a bush more commonplace than gorse,

So undemanding in its humble way,

So sturdy and compact, but with ...


When on my books I cast affectionate eye

And see them patient in their ordered ranks,

Waiting to serve me ...

Music at Night

When steals sweet music through the summer night,

All other noises hushed and men at rest,

Passion forgotten and all ...

No Quick Way

Whether to cut the string and gain release

Quickly, or patiently undo the knots?

‘Tis a decision on which all ...


One drowsy afternoon in summer heat

We came, footsore and weary, parched with thirst,

To where a tiny shop and ...

On Tap

What is achieved without much effort fails,

Although it satisfy immediate needs,

To benefit for long man’s real desire.

We ...


Pain is a signal we cannot ignore,

In no uncertain terms it tells us of need,

And goads the will ...


The grey bones of the rose plants shiver now,

Stripped by the rough hands of the ruthless air,

Bearing of ...


You who want proof, on what do you rely?

Are you convinced by evidence of sight,

Or touch, or hearing?  ...


That seagull, perched upon the lamp-post high,

Unconscious of his perfect form and grace,

Is of created things more noble ...


Seaward there is but light and the faint plume

Of distant ship low down.  Gales from the west

Have ceased ...

Sly Treason

If I should speak and thereby cause a smile,

Secret, covert, to light the listener’s face,

Suspicion flames within me, ...

Sulby River

Where Sulby River wreathes each silver coil

From the bare moorland to the northern sea,

A parable of life is ...


The beach is like a battlefield, its sand

Covered with bodies stretched out in the sun,

Some in grotesque positions, ...

The Post

In early morn when roads are bare and still

And every cottage yet in slumber lies,

When the night dews ...


Trout in clear water lying, cool and brown,

Nose to the thrusting element that flows

Over and under and along ...

Two Sisters

One did what duty counselled for her guest,

A housewife whose one thought was to provide

A table that would ...


Monks BridgeThere is a gentleness in ancient things,

Old earthenware and furniture from days

When life was leisurely and time was ...


When did this rose have its beginning?  When

Will be its end?  The bud took form and hue

Last week, ...

Why Death?

Why death?  Why this incessant funeral?

Change and decay in all around I see,

Spring into winter, winter into spring;...


December paradox!  The hand of death

That the heart seizes and a numbness brings

To sense and feeling, nurtures yet ...