Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Poetry by Robert Stone: Below the cliff, a sonnet

Below the cliff
-a sonnet inspired by Hamlet's Horatio
Displaced the wronged at midnight seek a voice
confirming fantasy of honor fouled,
of retribution fixed on single choice,
of future blurred by all the past has growled.

Uneasy still the victims dim the days
avoiding warnings of much greater harms,
of focused strikes wide splitting narrow ways,
of presents bloodied and unheard alarms.

Restraint the skilled despise despite the dark
refusing caution of unlucky chance,
of poison hidden in the common spark,
of sure defeat and death's eternal dance.

A smaller life avoids the snare what if
untempted toward the flood below the cliff.

- Robert Stone, 10 April 2011
The next earlier Robert Stone poem, Robert Stone: Poetry. Self-persuaded, a sonnet

This story was posted on 2011-04-11 00:37:50
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by Linda Waggener and Pen Waggener, PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia Magazine. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.