Creglingen Altarpiece - Assumption of the Virgin 2
Sonnets for Heaven's Queen

Virgo Clemens

What greater mercy than to raise the arts
From frigid friezes fraught with scenes of war,
And frozen idols lacking human hearts,
To heights of tenderness where angels soar;

To quell the ardeur of base passion’s flame,
That poetry may burn, yet not consume,
And gentle music wild emotions tame,
To dissipate our fears and banish gloom.

Alas, thy sweetness sweetens not the song
Of self-made poets of the formal schools,
Whose scansions starve a starved already throng,
And trade art’s purpose for its ill-used tools.

Most clement Virgin, make my sonnets be
A mirror of thy mercy, and of thee!

From Sonnets for Heaven’s Queen © Joseph Charles MacKenzie. All rights reserved.

Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet of New Mexico. On February 1, 2020, he won the Society of Classical Poets Competition, taking First Place in the Best of 2019 category. He is also the only American to have won the Scottish International Poetry Competition (see: Times Literary Supplement, Jan 27, 2017). A Pushcart Prize nominee, MacKenzie's verses have appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), The Telegraph (London), and many other venues. He wirtes primarily for Trinacria (New York) and the Society of Classical Poets (New York).

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