Sonnet for Joni

One sunny April afternoon, I wandered
onto the edge of your atmosphere
and devoured your records. I meandered
from old songs to new, from there to here,

and found I could not choose. No favourite
for me. If I could mix all the melodies,
all the lyrics, inhale your music, savour it
like spring air, I might forgive the parodies,

the cover versions and the imitations.
But I can’t. I used to sing with heart and soul along
with ‘For Free’ and ‘Blue’, despite my limitations.
Now I just listen intently to each song,

nostalgic for the music of long lost youth,
when I so wanted to become you.

Kim M. Russell, 25th April 2023

It’s Tuesday Poetics at the dVerse Poets Pub, Punam is our host and she asks us to let music speak. She begins her prompt with quotations from Maya Angelou and Longfellow, in which they talk about music, and goes on to tell us about music in India; I have watched Indian films and I know what she means!

Punam says that for her music is poetry in motion. I agree, especially when I listen to singer songwriters like my beloved Joni Mitchell.

Punam has given us some lovely examples of poems about music, including ‘A Crazed Girl’ by W.B. Yeats, ‘A Friend Found in Music’ by Bryanna T. Perkins, ‘Piano’ by Dan Howell, and a medieval poem entitled ‘When the Nightingale Sings’.

Our challenge is to write poems about music in any form: we can mention music fleetingly or write poems dedicated to music, but we must include any two titles from a list of songs by Linda Perry. I chose ‘Edge of your Atmosphere and ‘Sunny April Afternoon’. I’ve loved Joni since I was about fourteen or fifteen, over fifty-two years now.


25 thoughts on “Sonnet for Joni

    1. I can listen to her any time. Her lyrics are poetry and the melodies are unique. She is such an accomplished musician and can play pretty much any instrument.


  1. Sonneterrific work, this one, I think Joni would be honored, and I’m extremely grateful you chose her (and especially this song, one of my all-time faves) to respond to this week’s prompt. Salute!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely sonnet, Kim, and such a wonderful heartfelt tribute! Music is truly food for soul. You chose a beautiful song and Joni would have been very proud of your write.
    I love it! Thanks for joining in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In a bit of synchronicity, I put “Court and Spark” on the spool while doing housework. It is impossible to choose favorites from her body of work. It’s like trying to choose which body part of yourself is your favorite. Beautiful sonnet to an incomparable force of nature ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Early Joni is a purity! And I too carry that dizzy sense of rapture spinning “Blue.” The deep chicks listened to her, had “Blue” on the turntable or the album in front of the others when I woke in their rooms, and the songwriters I most respected adored her. She demanded listening and we all did. Lovely return to those moments, and yes, they are a litmus of perfection for all “the parodies, / the cover versions and the imitations.” Her piano, her voice, her words remain.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.