Thursday, December 11, 2008

Villanelle Attempt #1:

To get out of a thinking rut, I am going to experiment with making poems according to various forms. Lisa P made me promise to write while in Ecuador, so here is a villanelle, in response to Miguel’s habit of 1) sleeping perpendicular to his crib (and here, in his little tent) and 2) waking up before dawn and being unable to go back to sleep unless he can “snuggle” with us, which for him is a contact sport.

Villanelle Attempt #1:

Once again you are perpendicular.
The thrashing has finally eased.
You have hurt nothing in particular.

The days have become slow and circular.
The nights leave us reeling and squeezed.
Once again you are perpendicular.

You are squirmy, compact and muscular.
When the rooster calls, we are kneed.
You have hurt nothing in particular.

But our frustration stirs the vascular.
“It’s still night-night!” we shift and plead.
Once again you are perpendicular.

You pop up and grin—it’s spectacular.
We groan and forgive. You are pleased.
You have hurt nothing in particular.

Through another night you have traveled far
Flopping and kicking sheets with speed.
Once again you are perpendicular.
You have hurt nothing in particular.
**
Here are some first stanzas of villanelles from poets who really knew what they were doing! Follow the links for the entire poems.

Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15212

Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15377

1 comment:

jbear said...

so great, Ginny! I might piggyback and try my own (if I can find a quiet moment).

For now -- here's another one, my favorite:

The Waking, Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

http://gawow.com/roethke/poems/104.html