Wharton valued imagination highly, especially in poetry. She also appreciated the sonnet form with its strict rules for meter and rhyme and its invitation to turn an argument. This is one of several sonnets she wrote about the form.
On the wide shores of melody I strayed
One amber dawn when from the waves arose
The form of one white-vested, girdled close,
Who lightly lifted up her radiant head,
So that her bosom’s tranquil curve displayed
A necklet where, in alternating rows,
Four jewels caught the sunrise. Windless snows
Fall not as soft as her unsounding tread.
Straight to my side she came, with eyes benign,
Swift as a creature borne upon the wing,
And, gazing breathless on her face divine,
Lit with a smile elusive as the Spring,
I heard her murmur in a voice like mine,
“I am the Sonnet thou hast tried to sing!”