In my final ‘seven deadly sins’ sonnet (also the final sonnet in my ‘Ages & Sins’ collection), I make the case for sloth. As with all my musings in this miniseries, I take the position that a so-called sin is love for something that others deem unacceptable. And who would determine sloth a sin? The grafter, of course!
The speaker of this poem is self-admittedly slothful. Their “body loves to lounge”, “rest” works for them, sloth “troubles” them not. The speaker addresses their antipode – providing a counterargument to challenge that hardworking critic.
The capping couplet suggests their complainant believes themselves to be more worthy – closer to god. (Sloth is a sin, after all.)
Sloth My sloth troubles me not yet you it irks, The fat within my skin gets under yours, Rest works for me; for you endeavour works, My body loves to lounge; yours pause abhors. You place my ‘free and easy’ in the dock: Who’s in the right? Who has the right to judge? A sledgehammer would smash a gavel’s block And hands moving too fast pronouncements smudge. Your issue with my leisure is you need Conclusive validation of your choice: To strain and sweat, to blister and to bleed, To volunteer your brawn, to lend your voice. Lord if you cannot handle my malaise… Begone, seek active angels you can praise.