Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
The trick in writing a good villanelle is to make the repeater lines varied without being varied. Note here how the line “The glory latent in the flesh: a rose” has exactly the same words but is punctuated differently each time it appears. And then in the last line, the pun in the division of the world arose carries the weight of the entire development. I was pleased with how this villanelle turned out. See if you are.
The saints believe what every lover knows
Who, gazing on one face, can plainly see
The glory latent in the flesh: a rose.
If Love is what leads lovers to compose
Their songs of praise and deeds of charity,
Then saints believe what every lover knows.
The truth the Heavens declare, the Firmament shows,
To starry-eyed and moon-struck is most free:
The glory latent. In the flesh, a rose
Can shine in cheeks as brightly and disclose
To opened eyes as deep a mystery
Which saints believe and every lover knows.
Yet ash to ash and dust to dust it goes,
An aching void its only legacy,
The glory latent in the flesh. A rose
Will lose its petals, yet the Spring bestows
New life; but what hope for the flesh can be?
The saints believe what every lover knows:
The Glory latent in the Flesh arose.
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!
Donald T. Williams, PhD