"Our Unexpected Reciprocity," A New American Sonnet to an Unnamed Friend

Our Unexpected Reciprocity
A New American Sonnet

I miss your presence and your messages,
your pictures and your precious packages
of kindness generously overflowing
to find new ways of learning and of knowing
that strangely stimulate my complicated heart
to set aside the old and find new ways to start,

requiring me to write new worlds of poetry
that practice once again my harmless co-quet-ry
to coax from you through caring correspondence
a sharing and relaxing reassurance,
exchanging with each other words of inspiration
for better focused literary concentration.

Mys-te-ri-ous the many ways of pro-duc-ti-vi-ty,
but stranger still our unexpected re-ci-pro-ci-ty.

Max Havlick, September 1-4, 2015

Writers Workshop Note: Stimulus and Response

As immediate stimulus, I wrote this American sonnet to an unnamed Internet friend different from me in a hundred ways, but who even in a her recent extended sabbatical from activity, eventually still caused me, inspired me, to write to her in the poetic form I was blessed to invent a few years ago and still find a fascinating challenge.

As I say in the work itself, such delightful, creative inspiration of one person to a virtually unknown other can hardly be explained in everyday language, if at all.

Hopefully, however, the idea behind this sonnet has some general interest, because it seems the world is full of short, unexpected fascinations followed by a sense of longing and desire that can, when effectively channeled, produce useful results of interest and value to a wider audience.

If you can relate to this, please leave a comment.

More by this Author


Jodah profile image

Jodah 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

Max, this is a wonderful "American Sonnet" to am unnamed friend. I am sure that person would be very touched that you are thinking of them and their presence had an effect on you. Well done.

AMittal19 profile image

AMittal19 17 months ago from India

Nice poem.

ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 17 months ago from North Carolina

such is life my dear friend

every day routines

then a spark felt

from one unseen

really more a bolt

than a spark

for how we all yearn

to live and grow

break free

of the re-spon-si-bi-li-ties

that pre-oc-cu-py

our goals, our minds

to find that place

where ghosts remain

sometimes so hauntingly beautiful

most times driving us insane

yes, my friend

I can relate

as summer turns to fall

leaving only to return

treasure those bolts

that intervene

on one's behalf

let them inspire


for they are real




Max Havlick profile image

Max Havlick 17 months ago from Villa Park, Illinois Author

Jodah, thank you for your faithful reading and supportive comment.

Yes, several ladies may indeed be touched, as you put it, that I think of them and the effect of their presence. I just hope they don't all get together in the same room to fight over which one I was missing the most! Or worse yet, come gunning for me with frying pans or the like.

Few people, it seems, women or men, understand that time itself defeats all personal inspiration unless it bears good fruit in productive work like good poetry that strives to live forever by benefiting others in general. My essay on "Shakespeare Sonnet 18" showed this idea also apparently central to his thinking about such things (HP, Oct. 2013).

Seriously, John, I feel extremely fortunate at this stage of my life to have such a wonderful cast of friends, readers, muses, et al. -- an extended family, so to speak -- and I miss every single one of them everyday we are not in touch.

Continued best wishes to you, Max

Monday, 2 a.m., September 6-7, 2015

Max Havlick profile image

Max Havlick 17 months ago from Villa Park, Illinois Author

Thank you, Mr. Mittal, for stopping by from India! I just looked at your recent starting work on HubPages and left you a comment or two. I hope you will visit my work again when you have time. Best wishes to you. Chicago west suburbs, 2 a.m., Sept. 6-7, 2015.

Max Havlick profile image

Max Havlick 17 months ago from Villa Park, Illinois Author

Thank you, Kim, for the understanding in your touching poetic response, to which I can hardly expect to do justice here. But I must try nonetheless, if only to give it a rest.

When she perchance passed sprightly by,

she heard him heave a hungry sigh;

she felt a distant thundering

roll from within her wistful wondering;

she stood up straight and reminisced

the situations she had missed,

caresses never given nor received

more haunting than the ones some folks believed!

She found inside herself strong living memories,

her life endowed with subtle, rich securities

that no one would attempt to steal, or could;

she understood in everything that life was good.

Best wishes to all,

Max, Thur.-Fri. night, Sept. 10-11, 2015, 2:30 a.m.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 17 months ago from london

First, Max, it is an excellent Sonnet!! Secondly, I relate to it. I dedicate poems to others all the time, and sometimes they do tell me, that one came at a specific moment in their lives when they needed it very much. As to Sonnets, apart from making them 14 lines, I do not follow the rules. So we are two of a kind.

So keep going Bro. Much Love.

northweststarr profile image

northweststarr 17 months ago from Washington State

Dare I ask the name of your un-named friend Max? Hope all is well. Posted a quick poem for you today.

Max Havlick profile image

Max Havlick 17 months ago from Villa Park, Illinois Author

Out from behind dark clouds comes northwest star. Thank you so much for coming out. In honor of the special full moon Sunday night? :) You posted me a quick new poem? I cannot wait to read it. So much to do, so little time. But meanwhile, here's a quick response to what you asked.

. . . . . . . . .


An American Sonnet for Northweststarr

. . . . . .

Oh Northwest Star, thou fixture in my private firmament

as one conspired by God and Nature in their Parliament

to train and tune my eyes for fresh astonishment

and treat me with affectionate encouragement!

. . . . . .

Yes, you may dare to ask, “Who is the unnamed friend?”

But when will search for Shakespeare’s lovers ever end?!

Though open speculations might conspire to pyramid it,

the rules of poetry and would-be gentlemen forbid it.

Lest ecstasy might pass, one dare not speak in simple answers:

when Dionysius passes by, best not identify the dancers!

Some also recommend you keep the ones you love still guessing,

and those aspiring to receive your love to stay still wishing.

. . . . . .

Oh slowly-moving Northwest Star, so worth my vigilance,

far distant element that challenges my diligence!

. . . . . .

Max Havlick

Chicago west suburbs, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015

Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 16 months ago

This is beautiful! So very moving and touching. Your "unnamed friend", is a very lucky person to be regarded so highly by you. You are definitely one of my favorite poets. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words with us. Shared and five stars!! ***** :-) Blessings

Max Havlick profile image

Max Havlick 16 months ago from Villa Park, Illinois Author

Thanks, Jo, for your high regard; you're a real sweetheart yourself. I work hard to write good poetry, working with materials from my everyday life. I don't have millions of readers (like Jodah!), but I've been humbled and grateful to those discerning few (like you) who have come from far and wide, so to speak, to comment on this particular poetic conversation. Best wishes.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article