This week we discussed a poem by Li-Young Lee called “Nocturne.” When reading this poem we touched on the bases for a sonnet and alliteration. I personally like this poem because it does begin to open up that discussion of form and how traditional forms have changed over time. While this poem doesn’t follow the Shakesperian or English sonnet usually taught in English classes, it does have some cleverly placed rhymes, uses repetition (with the word “sometimes”), and alliteration with the “s” sound which is noticeable throughout. Along with that Lee does a very good job of making this poem sound creepy.

At times though it was difficult for us to have grounding since the sounds and the noises don’t have any for certain origin and I feel that made it hard to know exactly what was going on, we did have some fruitful discussion about fears and how to create a tone in a poem, or as you’re always told in creative writing classes “Show Don’t Tell.” I challenged the students to write a sonnet about either a fear or something they find creepy. Below is the Li-Young Lee poem and one of the examples from one of the students at TEAM.


Li-Young Lee “Nocturne” at the Poetry Foundation


Ms. Payne
10th Grade (8th Period)

Julian J.

Dark gray hair that grabs your attention
as the wind blows a long black coat
that soaks you in fear
bloody eyes with the vision of a bat.
Laddering its way towards you.
A knife that’s sharper than a boy in a zoot suit.
You cry and disappear wandering will you make it out.

Then it’s morning.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.