“A Villanelle for the Times”

You might remember when I was writing a villanelle poem, wanting to try another traditional form, as I’d written my first ghazal at the time and a sonnet, but I didn’t like the draft or that particular form for the idea. I transformed that villanelle into a ghazal, and I was happy with that latest ghazal.

Recently, author Jason Preu (whose 2 poetry books I’ve just reviewed on the blog) wrote a villanelle poem and shared it on his blog. The following is my own creative response to Jason Preu’s poem, “A Villanelle for Father Time” and that poem inspired me to write my own villanelle today, which follows,

Here it is…

A Villanelle for the Times

Father Time doesn’t know the word, Time. 
He doesn’t know what deemed him a Father. 
The pines and red-orange thistle blossoms glitter... 

Every morning, Father Time chimes up a new rhyme. 
He’s ever clean without the need of a bathtub or basin. 
Father Time doesn’t know the word, Time. 

He’d wondered how his wife was not, too, part of his body. 
Clean too, she rinses her smooth hands, arms, and ankles 
with liquid lemon. 
The pines and red-orange thistle blossoms glitter...

She knows it too, she just likes lemon, Time, and reason,
Lips of strawberry, eyes astonished, nose with a single dot of beauty, known to all but she.
Father Time doesn’t know the word, Time.

He wears a shirt of pure gold, or silver resin. 
His pants are dignified; no one’s seen his shoes; 
he’s neither the fatter, nor the fitter. 

Father Time’s eyes are cornflower blue (he’s seen them); 
His arms have nothing to do with tree limbs, his mouth’s a soft smile, his body’s agile. 
Father Time doesn’t know the word, Time. 
The pines and red-orange thistle blossoms glitter...

Jade Nicole Beals

Apr. 5, 2022

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*”Villanelle” is a French word and a form of poetry that had/has evolved over time in new ways.

3 responses to ““A Villanelle for the Times””

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