Water Fight (Villanelle)

snow balloonI have been thinking about villanelles a lot recently; one of my upcoming English classes will be devoted to Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night” and Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art.” I’ve written at least one villannelle before; I think there are others, but I can’t remember or find them. This one I wrote in the middle of the night (tonight). It was inspired by a poem by Amy Gerstler (in the Winter 2019 issue of Literary Matters), but the relation is indirect, I think. All I know is that I read her poem and then immediately wrote the villanelle.


 

Water Fight (Villanelle)

You hurled a wobbly red balloon my way
and laughed when it exploded on my gut.
My hurl at you: so blue and full of say.

Each life must have its tousle in the hay,
or else it ends with an unwieldy “but.”
You hurled a wobbly red balloon my way.

Stop taking it to heart! I hear them bray.
Learn to leap lighter with each bruise and cut.
My hurl at you, so blue and full of say,

still had some wit, I counter, since my tray
of words spun swift and bright out of the rut.
You hurled a wobbly red balloon; my way

was to throw verse. Was that a lackaday,
a waste of rhyme? Or juggernaut,
my hurl at you so blue and full of say?

Yet either way, an end comes to our play.
You win; I exit left and no more strut
(you hurled a wobbly red balloon my way)
my hurl at you, so blue and full of say.

 

Image: Snow Balloon (painting) by Ju Won Jeong.

I changed four words and two punctuation marks after posting this poem.

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1 Comment

  1. Loved this. So well written. My favourite line is “Each life must have its tousle in the hay”. Fantastic Diana! Thanks for sharing! I am a Creative Life Coach with a poetry blog and today’s here is today’s in case you have time to look? It is also a villanelle!

    https://peacockpoetryblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/blurred-lines/

    I am also on Instagram as #coachingcreatively, let’s follow each other if you use this medium? You can also find me on Facebook under Sam Allen wearing a bright red and orange hat!

    I love connecting with fellow creatives as you can see!

    Sunny greetings from Switzerland!

    Sam 🙂

    Reply

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