Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For the Ghost of Christmas Present

Handmade Boxes 2

I've decided to write 12 poems for Christmas. Dave's Noel Ghosts dare and giveaway inspired me.

For the occasion, I thought to try a villanelle again. It's been a while.

The villanelle has an aba rhyme scheme. It has five 3-line stanzas and ends with a 4-line stanza. The first line of the first stanza becomes the 3rd line of the second stanza. The third line of the first stanza becomes the third line of the 3rd stanza. The first line of the first stanza becomes the third line of the fourth stanza. The third line of the first stanza becomes the third line of the fifth stanza. Then, to wrap it all up in the sixth stanza, we do an abab and put the first line of the first stanza as the third line and the third line of the first stanza as the last line.

If that sounds confusing, take a look at the poem below. You'll see how it works. Why not try one? Maybe with a Christmas ghost in the lines?

The Ghost of Christmas Present

She drifts amidst the holly
picking berries round and red
for the love of you, or me

avoiding news of tragedy
along each jagged edge
she drifts amidst the holly

pretending not to see
where evergreens have bled
for the love of you, or me

along an evening's melody
where harmony has lately fled
she drifts amidst the holly

painting crimson on her knees,
a silent angel fallen, led
for the love of you, or me

pricking fingertips on memory,
leaving things unsaid
she drifts amidst the holly
for the love of you, or me.

Handmade Wrapping Paper Gifts photo, by L.L. Barkat. This poem is offered for One Shot Wednesday and Random Acts of Poetry.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger M.L. Gallagher said...

Wow -- this is amazing.

8:30 AM  
Blogger jen revved said...

so beautiful and musical!! xxxJenne'

10:14 AM  
Blogger Vicki Munn said...

that was nice. i like your ghost...
i have never heard of a villanelle, as i am so new to writing and reading poetry. i should give it a try too!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Thoughts for the day said...

I can see it...I can sense it... so beautiful.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Sam Van Eman said...

My favorite word picture:

avoiding news of tragedy
along each jagged edge
she drifts amidst the holly

2:33 PM  
Blogger paper roads said...

A villanelle is so hard to write - but as usual you do it beautifully.

2:37 PM  
OpenID repressedsoul said...

Vianelle works really well (that wasn't meant to rhyme!) but the depth of the poem is what draws me in. Amazing write, I really enjoyed reading it. I'm going to have to play with form, I'm so bad!


5:14 PM  
Blogger emily wierenga said...

stunning. love this: painting crimson on her knees,
a silent angel fallen, led
for the love of you, or me

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Chris G. said...

On the first day of Christmas...

Nice work with he villanelle form - great way to kick off the season. Deep, potent imagery at once beautiful, sad, and enticing.

Look forward to seeing what your 11 other poetry gifts are this season!

5:38 PM  
Blogger Beachanny said...

A good capture of the season in the scheme, great images, and use of form. Well done.

5:45 PM  
OpenID liv2write2day said...

Wonderfully executed Villanelle. You give me the inspiration to try another. I love how this flows...so unforced.

6:16 PM  
Blogger KB said...

Yay, the first Christmas poem I've read this season. Loved it.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Strong use of repetitive / progressive imagery.

7:17 PM  
Blogger dustus said...

Very well done, L.L. I tried to write a villanelle the other day. Tip of the hat. I especially like how the stanzas that end on the word holly flow together,; creates a nice overall effect.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Susanne Barrett said...


8:06 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Brilliant - really L.L. - just brilliant!

9:42 PM  
Blogger CM said...

Wow, so magical and mystical. Love it. And awesome photo too. Handmade wrapping paper...beautiful.

10:03 PM  
Blogger carlo said...

Barcat this is very good. Villanelle is new to me. It looks so good. Going to try it out soon. Thank you

10:08 PM  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

nicely done...i am in awe of villanelles...have yet to try one...and you pulled it off nicely...

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Matt Priour said...

The repetition gives it a beautiful musical quality. Wonderful word pictures.

2:31 AM  
Blogger DeLi said...

oh indeed the time 'drifts'...

your words as like whispers of gentle breeze

6:17 AM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Read it twice...once to see form and once again to enter in. Beautiful.

8:12 AM  
OpenID senderupwords said...

I too read it twice. This is remarkably well written and beautiful. Love and Light, Sender

9:33 AM  
Blogger izzy said...

Songs are good! images with set format
can be tough- Thanks!

10:47 AM  
Blogger Melissa Campbell said...

Amazing piece. I wish I could take a class with you as the teacher. I have so much to learn in the poetry world. Blessings.

11:23 AM  
OpenID betweenhearts75 said...

Incredibly well done, very haunting, and the flow was amazing. I've never taken any writing courses myself so I know nothing of certain formats & techniques, glad you highlighted the method as well! :) April

1:21 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Got the haunting thing with this one. And the sacrifice. Indeed, the villanelle is quite the challenge. Great imagery!

2:00 PM  
Blogger PattiKen said...

Wow. I am so impressed. I learn so much from your work, and always enjoy myself along the way.

Thanks for stopping by my place and commenting. I appreciate it.

2:19 PM  
Blogger tuberider said...

Well done. This poem had a very nice rhythm to it.

4:01 PM  
Blogger David K Wheeler said...

I also love the villanelle; and this reminds me the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe. Might just be "painting crimson on her knees"

4:18 PM  
Blogger Adam White - Poet said...

Eep, very sorry! You've been officially her-ified

7:58 PM  
Blogger Reflections said...

Love the form and its complexity, tho I think my brain is not grasping enough this evening to totally grasp the patterns. Will take another look another time.

But on to your message, simply beautiful.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Helena Malheur said...

I love this style... I'm not too familiar with it but you have done it quite beautifully! Enjoyed the read.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Adam White - Poet said...

Great work on the poem anyway. Readshe. Priceless.

3:08 AM  
Blogger Shashi said...

Its perfect ... I liked it very much...

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

6:32 AM  
Blogger Caty said...

this was terrific...love the Villanelle.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Kodjo Deynoo said...

She bleeds for the love of you and me another talent on Onshot

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...


8:28 PM  
Blogger Mama Abby said...

I agree with Melissa...wish I could take a class in poetry from you...I will take what I can get and am definitely going to try a villanelle...I think it would be so much fun!

And of course, this is beautiful and rings a lot...

avoiding news of tragedy
along each jagged edge
she drifts amidst the holly

that's why it took time for me to remember what was the hugest of ghosts that i wrote about...because this is how she comes

8:52 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

Loved it!

Thanks for this one shot!


10:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home