Monday, June 07, 2004

Villanelle

This is my first (and perhaps only) experimentation with the Villanelle form. It is an explicit repudiation of the gloomy poems I read all too often. Unreciprocal love indeed does exist, but if a thing is loved, it is of value, whether it loves you back or not, whether it is that which loves or not!

this villanelle won 1st place in the Grade 11-12 Poetry category of the Stamford Literary Competition.

All else, despair! Her smile exceeds your worth.
What other source of pleasure shall I seek?
There is no Heaven while you live on Earth.
All men desire their happiness from birth.
All learn of love, and most, for love, shall seek.
All else, despair! Her smile exceeds your worth.
See, eyes; hear, ears. Her face: her joy bring forth!
Can I call up the curving of your cheek?
There is no Heaven while you live on Earth.
But even if her grin is common mirth,
And that reserved for me is not unique,
All else, despair! Her smile exceeds your worth.
If all your sweet light steps cross Gaea’s girth
To help another scale Olympus’ peak,
There is no Heaven while you live on Earth.
I value you in plenty and in dearth.
And when I, moonlike, at her joy can peek,
All else, despair! Her smile exceeds your worth.
There is no Heaven while you live on Earth.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keeping with your cheerful philosophy about unrequited love, why "All else, despair?" Is this intended as a hyperbolic contrast, or do you really mean that in the brightness of her heavenliness on earth, all else is shadows?

Abba

10:56 PM  
Blogger Volpone said...

Actually, I meant it in the imperative. But both your suggested readings work too.

11:42 AM  

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