Sunday, April 4, 2010

Poem A Day: Day Four

From Poetic Asides: For today's prompt, write a history poem. This could mean a poem about your country's history, the history of an event or a tool, or even your own personal history. Hey, you could even write about the history of a relationship. The history of everything is fair game. Have fun! 

So I decided to tackle a poetic form with this one. I pulled out my Poet's Notebook and found a villanelle, which, despite how it sounds, is not a female villain. A villanelle is an Italian verse form with five tercets, rhymed ABA, and a concluding quatrain, rhymed ABAA. I took a free verse poem I'd written in France for the Notre Dame Cathedral, and re-worked it following the form. It was something like solving a mathematical equation, but I felt it fit with the cathedral's symmetrical architecture.

Our Mother

Reality, or so it goes

Is clasped within her plainsong dreams

With this endless La Vie en Rose


Into the glass, divine light flows

All broken shards and streaming beams

While in her heart the saints repose


Beneath her wings, all mankind froze

Astounded by the Martyr’s gleams

With this endless La Vie en Rose


Along the Seine, the bards compose

Replete with light or so it seems

While in her arms poets repose


Through you and me, a stillness grows

No better life, my heart esteems

Than this sweetness, La Vie en Rose


Across your face, the color flows

In lovely liquid shining streams

We bid au revoir to all our woes

Embracing this La Vie en Rose

Thanks for reading!

(cross posted everywhere)




  1. Wow! That's a better villanelle than any I've written!

  2. "Such cathedrals are only built by heart[s] in monstrous despair or ...Dionysian ecstasy,.... Only a superman is capable of such creative despair."

    Hermann Finsterlin on Gaudi's Familia Segrada