Poem 159 – A Sonnet for Jeff Beck

The news of Jeff Beck’s passing was a shock.
    Disciple, six string warrior, he played
    Uniquely. He was peerless to this day.
We cry. The king is dead, the king of rock.
It’s true, perhaps, that thousands did not flock
    To catch him on the stage, perform the way
    He could, making it speak and wail and spray
The air with song-like notes; an ease that mocked.
Despite this, his guitar will always stand
    Unique, unmatched by those within his wake,
Pale copies of this effortless control.
    Unrivalled, fusing different sonic lands,
So few attain the sounds that he could make
    That reach inside and pluck our very souls.

Last night I was stopped by the news of Jeff Beck’s death. Another guitar hero of mine gone, joining the likes of Garry Moore and George Harrison. Very much a guitarist’s guitarist, uniquely blending jazz, soul and rock, along with inventive tremolo and bending techniques he was one of a kind. Continuing to grapple with rhyme, I fancied trying a petrarchan sonnet today. He seemed a fitting object.

© Ben Quant 2023

Photo by Mandy Hall – originally posted to Flickr as Jeff Beck, CC BY 2.0

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