Sonnet #14: a sonnet with your name on it – Shah Afshar

Here are the words to the sonnet:

Sonnet #14, a Sonnet with Your Name on it: Shah Afshar

We read of heroes, heretics and fools
between the lines of truth become confused
Conformity confused with “one accord”
is stamped with affirmation by the board

and God looks down to see the hero’s shame
Declared as guilty takes the rebel’s blame
and enters it into the Book of Acts
where Heaven’s judgment will reveal the facts

But we see Jesus entering the boat
and pushing off the shore as rulers gloat
The plans of men are laid and set as traps
so honest men like Christ will take the rap
like fingers point at Jesus just offshore
so Shah Afshar through shame gains God’s rapport

This is a fairly simple and straightforward sonnet. Rhyme scheme is aabb ccdd eeffgg, no interior alliteration or rhyming was planned except for the connection of Shah Afshar’s name with the word “offshore.” Here I was connecting his experiences being mistreated by religious authorities (yes, a true story) to the Pharisees plotting to take out Jesus, while Jesus preached to crowds from a boat. (These two events of Jesus preaching from the shore and the Pharisees plotting against him are not directly connected in the Bibllical text, but hey, I took a little poetic license to connect them.) The text of Jesus preaching from the boat is in Luke 5:1-3.

The volta (turn of thought) happens twice: line 5 where “God looks down,” and the traditional line 9, where the focus is turned to seeing Shah’s experiences in the light of Christ’s life.

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