Rule Britannia – The Leavers’ Lament

This was an exercise for a writing group I’m a member of. We were asked to write a poem as if we were the Poet Laureate. Their job is to mark major national events with an appropriate commemorative poem. The exercise also stipulated a maximum of 14 lines, so obviously a sonnet was called for. A sonnet consists of 14 lines, 3 stanzas of 4 and a rhyming couplet to finish. The rhyming scheme for the stanzas is abab. Traditionally there is a ‘turn’ at the commencement of the 3rd stanza which changes direction somehow, a change of mood or tone, a contradiction or different take on the message of the first two stanzas. If you want to read proper sonnets you could do worse than turn to Shakespeare.

Standing proud on the white cliffs of Dover
Brave Englishmen hold their heads high and free
No more bowed to the will of another
Now in control of their own destiny.

We’ll rule our own land and trade where we please
We hold the whip hand in all that we do
We will make our own laws, fish our own seas
Safe in the hands of an Englishman true.

But now we find in charge another man
Unvoted for and from a far-off land
We have to kiss the ring of Uncle Sam
We find our sovereignty is built on sand.

Leaving the EU should have made us great
And not America’s fifty third state.

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