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

Updated on September 5, 2015

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.


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    • Max Havlick profile imageAUTHOR

      Max Havlick 

      3 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      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.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Max Havlick 

      3 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      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

    • northweststarr profile image


      3 years 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.

    • manatita44 profile image


      3 years 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.

    • Max Havlick profile imageAUTHOR

      Max Havlick 

      3 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      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.

    • Max Havlick profile imageAUTHOR

      Max Havlick 

      3 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      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 imageAUTHOR

      Max Havlick 

      3 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      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

    • ocfireflies profile image


      3 years 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




    • AMittal19 profile image

      Ankit Mittal 

      3 years ago from India

      Nice poem.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years 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.


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