A sonnet - an attempt to say something about the loss of an exceptional talent

I'm not really one for celebrity tributes but I thought Amy Winehouse's talent outstanding.  And it's sad not to see talent like that made the most of (spot the teacher's sentiment) 

So I wrote this sonnet today.  

A sonnet 

Her voice a gravel-honey mix.  Her life
a mixture, too, of rough and then of sweet.
Her hair a tower, unsteady, needy, stiff
with lacquer.  She, unsteady on her feet
and grabbing for support - a mike, a drink, 
a backing singer, loyal to the hilt,
who sang into the gaps that she had left
to guard the reputation she had spilt.
Her eyes outlined in kohl, like her obit
will be outlined in black.  The voice is gone.
Her silence - it says much she never said.
Her absence tells it all now, loud and long.

The stage is bare of her.  The stumbling girl
with beehive hair sings no more in this world.


  1. A tender tribute, Fran.

  2. Aww... Fran, that poem has made tears come into my eyes. The poor talented, troubled girl .... only 27 .... a mere youngster. What a waste of life.

  3. Self destruction sometimes seem to twine itself around talent. Lovely poem.

  4. Upset me more than all the appalling events in Norway. She was fabulous.

  5. Martin - thanks. More tender than my one on Poetry 24, anyway!

    Annie - same age as my older daughter.

    Charlotte - You're right. The two do seem to go hand in hand.

    Invisible Woman - I can see what you're saying, but the events in Norway involve the untimely and unjust deaths of innocent people, and we have to acknowledge, I guess, that Amy wasn't always without blame and there was a horrid sense of the inevitable about her death. The drugs/drink industry has a lot to answer for, however, as does the guy who did the Norway killings.

  6. No funny comments today--just a question that is beyond me to answer. Why do people throw their lives away?

  7. I don't think I've ever heard her music, but it disturbs me to see people say nasty things about someone's passing. People are so cruel to their celebrities.

  8. I'd not listened to her until just now, when another writer I follow commented on what a beautiful voice she had. She did indeed have a stunning voice. You've written a fine sonnet that I think captures her very well.

  9. Amazing poem.
    Yet another life ruined and lost at 27. I can't say I liked her all that much but there's no doubt she was talented. RIP Amy.

  10. Blimey. I'm shocked. This is the first I've heard of her death. See, The News Of The World disappears and I have no idea what's going on.

  11. thankyou for that Fran, what we all probably knew would be inevitable news, but still received with great sadness.

    Perhaps a life completed rather than a life cut short?

  12. fishducky - sad, yes, especially with such a lot to give to the world.

    Mark - it seems we think we own them. Strange, really.

    Susan - unique voice. I could listen to her for hours. And a natural performer.

    The Japanese Student - you have much of the same talent. Keep singing.

    Steve - I saw the news on Twitter first. As you say, how things are changing in terms of how we get our news.

    tedandbunny - let's hope so. But I'm not sure.

  13. Excellent words. I always thought of her as a Helen Shapiro gone wrong. Pity she wasn't an Amy Winehouse gone right.

  14. That's a really nice tribute. It's so sad... She had a unique talent. It would be nice to think that the newspapers and magazines that constantly printed pictures of her when it was blatantly obvious she had problems (and delighted with shocking headlines on those pictures) will think twice next time a young musician appears on the scene.

  15. A very nice tribute indeed, though I don't know her music apart from the "Rehab" song, which wasn't really my sort of thing. But then I can never understand why people like David Bowie and Rod Stewart. Just as well we all have different tastes. Anyway, it's very sad that she's dead, whatever.

  16. Wonderful poem for an extraordinary talent. I love the line: 'Her absence tells it all now, loud and long'

    Wish we could have had it for Poetry24 8-(

  17. So sad that she didn't live long enough to wise up. I have to admit that my first thought when I heard that she had died was "Well, it was just a matter of time."

  18. Watching the clips of Amy Winehouse at stage school , I was reminded of the endless similar videos of a young "Look at me , I want to be famous !" Penelope Cruz .
    Well , they were both talented , they both had loving , supportive families and they both succeeded.
    One was just too fragile to cope with it all .
    Very sad ..... she was bewitching at her best .

  19. Poor girl. They played one of her lesser known songs on the radio yesterday - brilliant voice.
    Lovely tribute Fran.

  20. So talented, so young, so unhappy.
    I am glad you did this sonnet.
    Pop music is not my preferred music but Amy had something that went far beyond and I admit that she inspired me to buy her songs.

  21. Very very sad and tragic loss of a young talent, someone's daughter. What a waste.

  22. Alan - yes, Helen Shapiro is a good comparison.

    Jayne - it seems to be what the public wants to see, that's the problem.

    Isabelle - they tried to make you want to retire and you said yes, yes, yes ...

    brokenbiro - I'll ask you first in future!

    Nana - you and loads of others, no doubt. It did seem rather inevitable, and horrible to watch because of it.

    SmitandSon - a wise sum-up of the situation.

    bad penny - I'm glad they're playing her stuff because it puts the emphasis on her talent.

    Friko - you're right -she had something extra. It makes it all much sadder.

    diney - indeed. I feel for her parents, too. How horrid to have to watch that happen to your kid, however talented.

  23. Hi Fran,

    That was a very emotional read.

    Poor Ms Winehouse proves that you can have it all, but that's not always enough.

    Anna May x

  24. A very lovely sonnet! "Her silence - it says much she never said", so true.


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