A-Z April: Villanelle

There are those bonkers moments when someone comes up with something so truly outrageous, you find yourself in the middle of a sharp intake of breath before you’ve truly had time to process the moment.

It was such a moment when I put out my cry for help to find 26 suitable writing styles to attempt the A-Z in April challenge, and Laurie (Come Up Higher) sweetly presented me with ‘Villanelle’, as though she hadn’t just gift-wrapped a turd and popped it into my begging bowl…

I’ve had a mental block about this one from the offset, because it’s rigid, and even the discovery that I might have found along the merry way of my research, stopping to kiss the daisies as I went, that I’ve finally copped onto what all the other lovers of Sylvia Plath already know (the woman knew how to put ‘po’ into something and -em it up all the way to WOW!) was not sufficient to make me any less leery of this task.

Or any less panicked.

And so it was, only after an attempt to understand, followed by the prompt and willful forgetting of what I’d learned (is it meant to be 16 lines or 19? Where does it repeat again? What’s the rhyming structure?  WTF?!), a brazillian* trips to Wikipedia, the discovery that I’ve got my poetry mojo back on, and a HEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUGE amount of encouragement from Laura (I might’ve been so sulky/frustrated she even resorted to calling me “champ”) that I knocked out a Villanelle.

For those of you who are equally clueless as I was initially – here’s the wikipedia link – it asplains it ALL.

For those of you who are too lazy to click a link – it’s a structured poem, with repeating refrains, in a set order, and it’s meant to give a feel of obsession bordering on the crazy.

So with almost no further ado (some ‘ado’ must be had to thank Laurie profusely for this absolute pig of a poem, because there weren’t a huge number of suggestions for ‘V’, and I’m immensely grateful to have had something to work with (added to which; I have LEARNED (albeit reluctantly))) – my villanelle:

I gave myself away so you would care
I waited but am only doing time
I think I found the love I sought: not there

For you I drew the skies and stars and air
Distilled in ink this wasted soul of mine
I gave myself away so you would care

But what could e’er I offer to one so fair
For I am clumsy, blunt and unrefined
I think I found the love I sought: not there

And everything you need you have right there
No better could I give the sun its shine
I gave myself away so you would care

I’ll shake these blues and leave you unaware
I’ll turn my back with melancholy rhyme
I think I found the love I sought: not there

My gutted-open heart I learn to share
With others who accept what you decline
I gave myself away so you would care
I think I found the love I sought: not there
 

*She slept with HOW many?

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