This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I remember reading this poem last year and thinking how beautiful and how perfect it was. Excellent rhyme, excellent meter, nothing that jars the effortless flow of the words.
It touches on the moment of Snape’s death, but the events that came before this moment are mentioned in only two lines, “Have they not seen the sins for which he pays?” and “No battle-ravaged penance need remain.” The present moment is represented by only the first line, in which, as Snape looks on Harry, Harry morphs into Lily in Snape’s mind.
All the rest of the lines, eleven in total, are about Snape’s perception of himself going forward, aided and welcomed by the spirit of Lily into an afterlife Paradise where he finally achieves what he always wanted.
One can debate whether this vision is the final hallucination or dream of a dying man, or an actual transition towards an afterlife, such as Harry experienced at “King’s Cross”. If the latter, one wonders where James fits into this afterlife. Clearly Snape is dreaming of a time before James. Does this suggest that souls in the HP afterlife are allowed to choose which era of their lives they wish to persist in?
This poem is full of beautiful turns of phrase, perfectly evoking the mood of an outdoor paradise of grass and flowers, where pain and struggle are no more, and one’s heart’s desire is finally at hand. I like the variation in sentence structure of line eleven; as we are about to float away in a soporific cloud, it wakens us again to finish the poem. And I notice that you capitalize Garden, granting it a celestial status above ordinary gardens.
I hope you won an award in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition; it is hard to believe that any other entries were better. Thank you so much for sharing this poem with us.
Sonnets sonnets sonnets sonnets! Form and meter good, variation in S1L4 works, strong closing stanza in terms of content, I like to make the meter as strong (mix of very light and overly stressed words) as possible in the close for emphasis as a quick tip so that it reads nice and clean. The use of battle ravaged and the vanquisher remind me of something I've read, must have been Browning!