Saturday, December 4, 2010

December Villanelle







December Villanelle


December the snowy white hope firepit.
December the cold-burning brand.
December when ghosts all come back to sit

In stores, streets and houses lit bright or unlit
all along the sharp iceslipping strand.
December the snowy white hope firepit.

December the voice too cold to commit
yelling its annual endless demand. 
December when ghosts all come back to sit


beside us around us. They flurry and hit.                               
What they wield has no need for corporeal hand. 
December the snowy white hope firepit.

Holes leak in facades drilled by memory’s sharp bit.
Green tree drips red drops in a bucket of sand. 
December when ghosts all come back to sit.

Pull off the holly and break up each bit.          
Build a new fire that flares on command
in December’s dead dreary white hope firepit
and burn all the chairs where the ghosts come to sit.



December 2010



villanelle:
a short poem of fixed form, written in tercets, usually five in number, followed by a final quatrain, all being based on two rhymes. Origin:1580–90.
~ dictionary.com

Photo by M. Krell, courtesy google image search, source link

16 comments:

  1. I am quite fond of this form, partly because of the pleasing way a well written villanelle sounds when read aloud, and partly because I can't write one. Strike that, I wrote ONE. It's about Bosco, my dog. It's called "Vallanelle For Bosco." It occurs to me at this moment that my abilities may be even more limited than I ever suspected.

    I like the ghosts and "December the voice too cold to commit." I like what you do. Let's go set something on fire, you and I, hmm?

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  2. Er...it occurs to me that sounded like I was promoting more than good old fashioned homespun vandalism. Oops!

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  3. December blows. That's not quite as poetic though.

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  4. "Build a new fire that flares on command. ." I love it. Paints a very detailed picture in condensation of words.

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  5. I love the way you ladies take a thing and run with it. I've been worrying that I was just being too damn depressing, but now, hey, setting things on fire seems like good therapy.

    @Firebosco--never doubt your abilities, feral one. My favorite Neruda poem isn't about sex, though he wrote killer erotica, it's about his dog. Wolves are good, too.

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  6. Damn that's one cold poem! So cold we had to burn the ghost's chairs. I thought I was cold the other night. I don't think I've ever been this cold. This is heart freezing, memory squeezing, diseasing cold ma'am. And one gr8 villanelle!
    Gay

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  7. Love how you broke with the strict repetition scheme at the end, giving more emphasis to the theme. It takeboth confidence and guts to do that.

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  8. Love it. "Green tree drips red drops in a bucket of sand" fantastic line, hedgewitch. The repetition of December adds to the haunting effect.

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  9. @Gay & Adam : Thanks, and can you tell I hate December? Or was I too subtle?

    @Semaphore: Thought I'd best break with it or cause suicidal feelings in the reader. ;-) Thanks--yours was excellent also.

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  10. "Burn all the chairs where the ghosts come to sit"

    Love it! I'm writing that on my little post it board.

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  11. I admire anyone who can write this form...I had a hard time and ended up doing what I do best...taking the Mickey out of myself. Really loved the December feel you give the flow...amazing brilliant...I'm jealous lol xx

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  12. what lovely the december ghosts...but what are they doing when all their chairs are burned...smiles really liked your villanelle joy ann - and i agree - it's unconventional that you break up the last two stanzas but didn't disturb the flow..nice

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  13. Nice Villanelle...the ghosts of December..yes they have a way of lingering around the firepit..of winter and bringing out unwanted memories...this is a fun excerise, it pushes me to try other forms...nice...bkm

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  14. Nice imagery/words... had some trouble with the meter in places. Your first refrain is nicely written image-wise but I struggle to feel the rhythm somewhat. Perhaps I can give you moe in-depth crit, only if you want it, of course, next week (or on the Discussion Board).

    Luke x

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  15. I hear you with the all the winter hating and all the frippery involved...

    Yup them ghosts are sittin' right here, in the parlor and they're starting to smell since I took the tree down.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg