BOND BOOKS WRITING CONTEST

Sonnet Writing Contest

November 15-December 1, 2019

"Haply I think on thee,--and then my state

(Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;" Shakespeare, Sonnet 29

How to enter:

1. Subscribe to bondbooks.net and share this page on your social media sites.

2. Listen to The Scriptorium podcast: How to write a sonnet in 2 parts (click on tracks below right)

3. Write a sonnet:

--14 lines of iambic pentameter

--10 syllables per line, arranged in 5 iambs, that is two syllable units of unaccented/accented syllables

--consistent meter, accents falling on the natural spoken accented syllables of words

--employ poetic conventions of rhyming (abab, abcb, aabb, with rhyming couplet on final two lines 

--use figurative language appropriate to the theme of gratitude

--sonnets are a microcosm of life in a fallen world. Shakespeare often began with a problem, elaborated on and illustrated the extent of the problem, then in line nine began to point to a tentative solution, with the couplet wrapping up the episode with a poetic morsel of wisdom gained. The more specific the language and images the more potent the sonnet--use action verbs, concrete nouns, meaningful modifiers.

4. Submit to bondbooks.net@gmail.com by December 1, 2019 

PRIZES:

3rd Prize is my Rise & Worship New Reformation Hymns album  and 20% discount for new registrants on spring 2020 Oxford Creative Writing Master Class

2nd Prize is my Rise & Worship New Reformation Hymns album and 30% discount for new registrants on spring 2020 Oxford Creative Writing Master Class

1st Prize is my new book God Sings!, a copy of my Rise & Worship New Reformation Hymns album, and a 40% discount for new registrants on spring 2020 Oxford Creative Writing Master Class

Grand Prize is my new book God Sings!, a copy of my Rise & Worship New Reformation Hymns album, and 50% discount for new registrants on my Oxford Creative Writing Master Class June 15-22, 2019

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On The Scriptorium podcast How to Write a Sonnet, I will use Shakespeare's Sonnet 62, among others, as samples to illustrate how to write a sonnet:

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul, and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed
Beated and chopp'd with tanned antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
'Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.

And the Bard's Sonnet 65 serves well as another example:

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
   O, none, unless this miracle have might,
   That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

For readers of Hand of Vengeance, I refer you to a sonnet I wrote based on the 8th c Anglo-Saxon setting of the book :

“To arms! To arms!” the watchman cries in fear.

“A sail! A sail! The dragon ships are near!

The shields are set and now the sails are furled!

Now oars extend like claws that rend the world.

And men, like wolves, they grind us with their keels,

Our shores, our crops, our homes, beneath their heels.

With cleaving axe and ruthless blade, our wives

And tender bairns they shatter, and our lives.

Hold fast! The saintly warrior king appears,

And with him valiant thegns who turn our tears

To steadfast courage stout and purpose strong,

Who steel our will to stand against the wrong.

    To arms! To arms! Let not your valor quake!

    We’ll fight and die for our Defender’s sake!”

                            Douglas Bond (2012)

Here is another sample sonnet, one I recently wrote on our visit to the ancient Augustinian priory of Kells in Ireland:

Amidst the sighing breeze I heard the bells,

The Celtic abbey carillons of Kells;

With gaping doors and fortress towers they tell

And herald news to verdant hill and dell;

Their ancient summons ringing through the ruins

And mingling with the holy chants and tunes,

Devout, devoted echoes of the past

Of saints who lived to pray, to sing, to fast;

Dead scribe, his quill painstakingly with ink,

Prescribes good news that goads us on the brink,

Offends, convicts, that warns we infidels,

Illuminates the Gospel of the Kells.

          From giddy heights we scan the past with scorn,

          But we shall have eternity to mourn.

                                Douglas Bond (2019)

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How to Write a Sonnet part 1Douglas Bond
00:00 / 10:14
2 How to Write a SonnetDouglas Bond
00:00 / 39:06

SONNET WRITING CONTEST FINAL RESULTS!

This was a very difficult contest to judge. Thank you to all of you who entered the latest Bond Books Writing Contest. There were sonnets about unrequited love, about grief and loss, about wayward children, and other kinds of ingratitude and gratitude. 

Winners, Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address as soon as possible.

PRIZES:

3rd Prize is my Rise & Worship New Reformation Hymns album  and 20% discount for new registrants on spring 2020 Oxford Creative Writing Master Class

2nd Prize is my Rise & Worship New Reformation Hymns album and 30% discount for new registrants on spring 2020 Oxford Creative Writing Master Class

1st Prize is my new book God Sings!, a copy of my Rise & Worship New Reformation Hymns album, and a 40% discount for new registrants on spring 2020 Oxford Creative Writing Master Class

Grand Prize is my new book God Sings!, a copy of my Rise & Worship New Reformation Hymns album, and 50% discount for new registrants on my Oxford Creative Writing Master Class June 15-22, 2019

Drum roll please--

Melissa Merritt--GRAND PRIZE!

 

My dreams have come to others in their youth,

The dreams my drowsy mind had half forsook,

It is a dark and denigrating truth

That others fought while I the smooth path took.

I wished for rain upon my lot to fall;

I wished for flowers fair and full of life;

I wished that love's sweet voice to me would call;

I wished an end to pilgrim fears and strife.

But I have seen the poison in my pride,

That feeling I should have what others have--

The golden dreams were clenched and deified--

Were put upon my heart like muddy salve.

But now I know 'tis only grace that gives,

And I give thanks that in my heart Christ lives!

 

Ken Abbot---FIRST PRIZE!

Reprieve

 

Upon a morning innocent of woe

A bell did sound, Death's hand upon the rope,

A knell that spoke of scythes that sharpened, lo,

Did for a moment slice from me all hope.

A threat to life, undoing of the weave,

This tapestry unloosed, this dust brought low.

Thus then I came to find that I might leave

This little earth before I thought to go.

But then, O Lord, as grace so often does

The darkness cleave, thy purpose gained its goal.

My hope restored, then peace resettled was,

An anchor lodg-ed firmly in my soul.

Dear God, I am like kings of old bespared,

To live, to praise, to thank, thy mercies dared.

 

Emelline Hofmans--SECOND PRIZE!

 

A wild beast will turn and bite the hand

Of one, with open palm, but giving feed;

Ungrateful, base -alas! So goes my soul

Towards One who will supply my every need!

 

Unhindered, earth bears fruit in harvest time;

Of which, with mindless greed, I take and eat:

Forgotten stands due Thanks; neglected Praise.

Nor feast, I, in the Providence so sweet!

 

But would my wandered gaze be fixed on God,

Who freely gives me good and Heaven’s Home;

Then ever would I glory -glory give -

To Him who bids me wait until He come.

 

The quickened heart loves giving -as it should -

And therein tasting, finds his LORD is good.

 

Peter Lorincz--THIRD PRIZE!

We worship You, Oh Lord, with grateful hearts

To glorify and honor Your great name 

Placing upon the altar all our parts

For You alone are worthy of all fame 

 

Unworthy of Your promises we are 

Yet filled with resolution come Your Dove

The hounds of goodness and of mercy star

Closing the gap through Christ's redeeming love

 

Death has been robbed of victory and fear 

Emmanuel, our King is drawing near 

A new creation singing hope and joy 

Now faith and truth with love we now deploy 

 

With holy armor and with sword in hand 

Fill us with grace in suffering to stand

 

Christianna Helwig--HONORABLE MENTION

My Prayer

 

How can I kneel before Thy sacred throne,

Who spread the stars above earth's panoply,

Whose righteous frame could not in truth condone,

The slime and filth in which thou findest me?

Can it be truth that thou hast pardoned me?

"Wherefore," ask I, "what have I done for this?

"Before Thy holy face I've not one plea,

What must I do to earn Thy proffered bliss?"

A tone full tender wafts unto mine ear,

Thy son hath suffered all for even me?

To hope upon such grace I, trembling, fear,

Couldst thou forgive, perverted  though I be?

Lord this my prayer in stint of sweet relief:

I do believe, help thou my unbelief!

 

Esther Bills--HONORABLE MENTION

Ingratitude 

The beggar, cold and hungry, stands before

an oaken table long as twenty men

and sees a lavish feast set, and what’s more,

the Prince commands the poor man to come in. 

A cushioned chair beside the fire is placed;

he pours the wretch a golden cup of wine.

A velvet cloak covers his rags with grace

and dishes full of fare both rich and fine 

are freely given, and no price required.

No word of thanks is offered for his gains.

He gluts himself in silence until tired,

then turns toward his kind Prince -- and complains. 

How base and horrid is the thankless heart!

And oh, how oft I play the beggar’s part!

Congratulations to all! Top 4 winners, please email me your mailing address. If you are planning to take advantage of your OCWMC discount, please contact me right away, as space is limited and may fill if you do not reserve your place right away.

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RESURRECTION HYMN WRITING CONTEST--2019

RESULTS ARE IN!

Thank you to all of you who crafted a resurrection hymn for this contest. I know it is hard work writing a hymn, but it is effort worth expending in the worship of our risen Redeemer. The prize winners and their hymns appear below.

How to enter:

1. Share this page on your social media sites.

2. Write a 3-stanza (minimum) hymn on the theme of Christ's resurrection

--write in conventional hymn meters: CM Common Meter 8686, or LM Long Meter 8888

--employ poetic conventions of rhyming, consistent meter, accents falling on the natural spoken accented syllables of words

--use biblical allusions and references

use figurative language appropriate to the theme

3. Submit to bondbooks.net@gmail.com by Friday April 19, 2019 

PRIZES (all prize winners will receive my Rise & Worship New Reformation Hymns album):

Grand Prize is 50% discount for new registrants on my Oxford Creative Writing Master Class June 15-22, 2019

Laura Kimzey

O come and see the rising flame

Now lit from darkest night –

The shadow of past Friday’s noon

Is split by Sunday’s light.

The wrath of God now satisfied,

The price of justice paid,

Now come and see the sunlit place

The willing Victim laid.

 

O come and touch the heavy stone,

The seal of Caesar torn,

Come feel the strips of empty cloth

That bound His stricken form.

Feel now the blood upon the rock

And touch the open door

Through which Death’s angel sheathed his sword

And flew, to come no more.

 

O come and hear the song of birth

That spills now from the tomb!

An angel heralds life within

The dark, now barren womb.

O hush your weeping, hear His voice!

He calls you by your name!

And now, restoring, makes you His –

The joy for which He came.

 

O come and know His victor’s peace,

He breaks your walls of fear.

Come put your hand upon His own

And feel doubt disappear.

O come, believe the work is done,

He is not ghost nor fraud.

Realize the burning of your hearts,

Come call Him Lord and God.

 

O come and sing His triumph here,

His absence from the grave.

He is the firstfruits from the dead

Of those He came to save.

Come worship your Redeemer King!

No veil obstructs your praise.

Look at His face, fall at His feet

And sing, for Christ is raised!

1st Prize is 40% discount for new registrants on my Oxford Creative Writing Master Class June 15-22, 2019

Scot T. Burn

Were there ever darker night 
Than when for thou and me
Our blessed holy Saviour Christ 
Hung thus upon the tree?

And lest we in our frailness tend forget the moving parts
He bled there not for righteous men
But we of sin-dead hearts

And truly for His death that night
The people did applaud 
Wrath was in the cup alright
T’was wrath of Mighty God.

Forsaken by His Father then
This darkest night of doom
But brightest angels sent to men
Revealed the empty tomb

Like the paragon of paradox
how can these two things be
The darkest night which scattered flocks
Was brightest hope for me

Yea, darkest night He took our sin
and emptied many graves
Became the brightest clarion 
Proclaiming Jesus saves.

2nd Prize 25% discount for new registrants on my OCWMC June 15-22, 2019

Marcie Slagter

The curtain torn in two,

Oh, what a heart’ning sight!

A humble prayer could now reach heav’n,

His kinship now our right.

 

The sealed stone rolled away,

Two angels clothes in light,

The women bowed with faces down,

Their broken hearts in fright.

 

“Why do you seek Him here?

The living ‘mongst the dead?

He is not here; He is risen!

And this just as He said.”

 

Then they recalled His words,

Once precious, now proved true,

The first to witness fulfillment,

Of brokenness made new.

 

They ran to tell the others,

Desperate to share good news,

With their down-trodden brothers,

The Hope that none could lose.

 

Mary in the garden,

Tears clouding eyes so dim,

“If you’ve taken my Lord away,

Tell me where you’ve laid Him.”

 

With one word she saw Him,

Her savior and her friend.

The second time He’d called her name,

Imparted Hope again.

 

‘‘Twas evening on that day,

All locked up in their room,

He finally stood within their midst,

And proved the empty tomb.

 

Not put off by doubting,

“Behold my hands, my side,”

Each rejoiced in seeing his Lord,

A proof each could abide.

 

“Receive the Holy Spirit,”

He breathed on them and said, 

Then sent them out with Gospel Truth,

To bring Life to the dead.

3rd Prize 20% discount for new registrants on my OCWMC June 15-22, 2019

Terry Yount

At dawn, mute graves sweet peace betray;

Two Marys came, where Jesus lay;

An empty tomb they found that day!

Christ conquered death: Alleluia!

 

Then stood nearby an angel bright,

By fallen guards, subdued with fright;

A stone removed –a wondrous sight!

Christ conquered death: Alleluia!

 

The angel, spoke, “Fear not” he said,

“He isn’t here, he’s ris’n” –not dead;

No longer in his burial bed!

Christ conquered death: Alleluia!

 

So Christ, who came to die, was raised,

In glory, drawn to life, unphased

By death, his enemies amazed!

Christ conquered death: Alleluia!

 

All glory be to God alone,

And to his risen, chosen Son,

And to the Spirit –three in one!

Christ conquered death: Alleluia!

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