National Poetry Month, Day 30–Sonnet to the Last Poet

Sonnet to the Last Poet

When all the poets in the world are dead,
the voices mute that once were crystal clear
inciting us to laugh or weep or sing,
silent is the air, like molten lead.
In graveyards by the sea, soft winds we hear
foretell the coming fall without a spring.
In belfry’s high the bells Nine-Tailors ring
to mourn the loss of poets from our sphere.
If even one is left alive, the poet’s role
will be fulfilled, we’ve naught to fear.
For All, the conscience kept; the penance said.
For Everyman, the one will pay the toll
and with that voice will speak from soul to soul
when all other poets in the world are dead.

by Bet Wooten
Delta Branch, MS


  1. Lois Batchelor Howard says:

    Bet, of all the poems I’ve read this past month, yours is my very, very favorite. I like the unusual premise. It is stunning! and what a concept. Poetry is pretty important, isn’t it? Do you have a book of poetry I might order? I’m joining your fans! From “soul to soul…” Deepest thanks, Lois Palm Springs Branch

  2. Bet, what a powerful, touching “Sonnet To The Last Poet”! After I read it, the phrase “…the bells Nine-Tailors ring
    to mourn the loss of poets…” played again and again in my mind. I’m going to use that phrase as writing prompt for my next writing workshop–it elicits so many images. Thank you.

  3. Sandra Seaton Michel says:

    Excellent – the perfect “last” poem.

  4. This poem is perfect. It blonds with the masters in the textbooks. I wish I could have written it, but I know I couldn’t.
    Beautiful reading experience. I would love to hear it spoken.

  5. Thank you for letting me flood your inbox with poetry today, the last day of National Poetry Month. I started with poems about spring and gardens, natural as the weather has changed, and then moved to philosophical takes on leaving winter behind. This last poem, Sonnet to the Last Poet, closes out the month with a look at what the world would be without poetry. I will miss our Pen Women poem a day feature. Must make it an annual event, eh?
    But never fear, the Poem of the Week will still be active. Something to look forward to!–Treanor