While I would certainly like to take a stab at authoring a poem, I know full well that my perfectionism would not compliment poetic writing. I would simply never be happy with the end result. Therefore, I have chosen to analyze another persons masterpiece. I have chosen Gwen Harwood’s, “A Game of Chess”. This sonnet uses its 14 line Petrarchan structure to introduce a mysterious two-some in a seemingly calm game of chess on a peaceful night. The beginning octave sets up this tone of relaxation earned after a tough day and the joy of sitting down to a game of chess with wine and music, a great way to end the day. Then, with the turn of the stanza, Harwood uses the finishing sestet to drive home the true intention of the preluding octave. This game of chess is an extended metaphor for life. As humans, we always seek control and the ability to make correct decisions. The difference between chess and real life is that, in life, we do not get a 2nd chance. We have to choose and deal with the consequences of that choice. In chess, you still have to deal with the consequences of your choice. But, in chess, you have a seemingly god-like, 3rd person omniscient point of view which gives you the ability to see the definite impact your choice will make.
Poetry Forms- “A Game of Chess” by Gwen Harwood