Today’s sonnet was a tricky little bugger. It begins with Kirk’s empty nest syndrome after the death of Spock when his son David stays at Genesis to further his research. The final lines, pulling Kirk back to Genesis for Spock’s sake ask to the price Kirk will pay to help his friend. It’s the same question Spock’s father poses to Kirk.
On the whole, the poem works. What’s tricky is that the question of the price Kirk pays isn’t a logical question. Kirk had no idea he was headed into a fight with Klingons, no idea they had taken his son hostage. They would have done that regardless. Also, David probably would have sacrificed himself regardless of who the Klingons were talking terms with.
The only price Kirk really paid was his ship and — most probably — his place in Starfleet. The poem works with regard to what everyone supposes is Kirk’s argument: The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. At least, it’s written to the film’s intended meaning of that argument.
The actual meaning of that argument, after you know that David would have died regardless like everyone else on the research vessel he beamed down from, is about Kirk and his central crew members and their careers and lives. The argument is about a group of friends putting their friend’s need above their own. Kirk and Sulu and McCoy and Uhura and Chekhov and Scotty are the many. Spock is the one.
What’s tricky about the poem is that it works as expected, but I’m not sure that’s good enough for me. The needs of the one, you could say.
A dying planet fraught with life,
a house with all the children gone
still stands more noble than the knife
that wounds the dark with break of dawn.
The wound stays open, spilling forth —
with all the glamour of true north —
the dearest blood with which was paid
the fitful waters fit to trade.
Yet how much more will it still cost?
The bride-price meant for mind and flesh
demands a sore unseasoned thresh
of sapling strong, who bore the frost —
well-meant by the diverted rays —
to be now felled by glory’s blaze.