You Take My Hand

 

It is April. National Poetry Month. And though I love poetry all the year round, I am always wishing I wrote more of it come April. It gives me a chance to exercise concision in my word choice. The following poem is a villanelle, which is a structured poem that tightens those rules even further.

Quoting straight from poets.org:

The highly structured villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines.

Did you catch all that? No? Maybe you’ll recognize the pattern below, or from a rather famous poem most know, Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas. (You can find the full text of that piece here, though I believe my favorite villanelle is by Sylvia Plath, called Mad Girl’s Love Song.)

You Take My Hand

Chin smacked hard on where you’re meant to stand,
this press of flood can hold you in its rush.
That river breaks its bank, you take my hand.

The rush is loud and all that you can hear–
detritus churned up inside the crush,
chin smacked hard on where you’re meant to stand.

Dare I offer up a kindness here,
where sun will brush your cheek in warming blush?
That river breaks its bank, you take my hand.

And if my head’s held down by what I fear,
hollowed out by my own hand and hush,
chin smacked hard on where I’m meant to stand,

muddied up by waters once run clear,
gaze set down on barren fields once lush–
that river breaks its bank, you take my hand.

Blessing bound in friend rebuilding near,
side by side in spring’s beginning flush,
chin smacked hard on where we’re meant to stand.
That river breaks its bank, you take my hand.

 

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3 thoughts on “You Take My Hand”

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