Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 22 May 2009

Bank Holiday trifle

Villanelle – Soccer fan

No, look within, this is your darker state
Flagged by the scarf you wear so forwardly
A sentient step towards the insensate.

Having forsworn the gift of human freight
To co-exist, reflect, reach out, then see.
No, look within, this is your darker state.

Instead you urge yourself to harm and bate
The scarves outside your damned fraternity.
A sentient step towards the insensate.

Your sport’s an artificial form of hate
Whipped by the branches of your tribal tree
No, look within, this is your darker state.

For those whipped scarves you attribute their fate
To mythic signals from an enemy.
A sentient step towards the insensate.

But when the tumult clears, fears re-create
The prior world you left so eagerly,
A world away from this, your darker state,
The blinding darkness of the insensate.

NOTE. The villanelle is called a Poetic Trifle in Brewer’s “Art of versification” but it can rise to greater things. Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle…” is a villanelle. Nuff said.

The first and third lines from verse one are repeated throughout. So, fewer lines to write, I thought. It was only after the tenth re-write I dimly began to realise their potential.

This is a joint exercise with Plutarch. The first version, which I have retained, is terrible. Like Julia, Plutarch pointed the way to improvements and I stumbled on, ending up with what you can see. Interestingly both critics frequently drew my attention to defects which, in my heart of hearts, I knew were there and yet I pretended to be blind to. This is the essence of saying: you know you can do better. And this is the best form of encouragement. My gratitude to Plutarch here, and Julia earlier.

Adieu for a while.


Julia said...

Aren't editors useful? In lieu of one I sometimes use a day's interlude. Once the kick of creation subsides I can (better) make out the creaky bits.

By the way, you seem to be gaining a fan club in my comments box!

Lucy said...

Very impressive!

I meant to say, before I forget, when you pass through Chartres, try to see the son et lumiere they're doing - it's done with giant projectors on major buildings around the town, starting at nightfall. The cathedral one is obviously the biggest and most impressive, but it's worth keeping an eye out for others. Unfortunately the cathedral one doesn't start until quite late, gone 11pm whe we were there, so even later now, but some of the others starta bit earlier. Worth staying up and venturing into the town centre for.

The Crow said...


Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: The rush to publication is fraught with danger. Yesterday's fine writing, is today's cornflake packet. Fan club: Terrifying! Perhaps I really ought to include a picture of my face and bring all such speculation to a rapid conclusion.

Lucy: A glass or two too many of savennières will, I suspect, preclude what you suggest.