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Tuesday, 15 January 2013



We’ll know this Love


A Villanelle for Wendy

We’ll know this love until our last goodbyes,
Till on my grave is laid your last bouquet,
Until no tears shall moisten these blind eyes.

Though we may never understand the ‘whys,’
Our love will mark the progress of each day,
We’ll know this love until our last goodbyes.

In measured years we learn what love implies,
And walk in sunlight though the sky is grey,
Until no tears shall moisten these blind eyes

If death’s the end, then love is the surprise,
That’s proven life is more than a cliché,
We’ll know this love until our last goodbyes.

Throughout the minutes till my final cries,
I’ll treasure all you do, and all you say,
Until no tears shall moisten these blind eyes.

For sharing love has been our greatest prize,
All of life’s pain its presence can outweigh,
We’ll know this love until our last goodbyes.
Until no tears shall moisten these blind eyes. 

© James Rainsford 2013





Note to readers: Re-linked as it fits this challenging theme.
This is a villanelle, one of the most challenging of poetic forms. It is a nineteen-line form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain. There are two refrains and two repeating rhymes, with the first and third line of the first tercet repeated alternately until the last stanza, which includes both repeated lines. The villanelle is an example of a fixed verse form.
In this particular example I set myself the additional challenge of ensuring that each one of the nineteen lines contained exactly ten syllables.
Memorable examples of villanelles have been written . My favourites among them are: 'Mad Girl's Love Song' by Sylvia Plath, 'If I Could Tell You' by W H Auden, and of course, 'Do not go gentle into that good night' by Dylan Thomas.
I hope you think the end result was worth the effort. Your opinions are most welcome.
Kind regards to all at dVerse Poets. James.

35 comments:

  1. The dreaded villanelle is handled masterfully under the direction of your pen. I will admit, though it is an outstanding, beautiful poem...I leave envious, both of your skill...and of knowing a love like this...I do have to confess however...you did turn today's frown upside down. Fantastic :)

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  2. A wonderful and fine form James ~ I like the rhymes and refraining lines specially:

    We’ll know this love until our last goodbyes.

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  3. sharing love has been there greatest prize...true that....man i have never worked this form and you do it very well...and love is one of my fav topics as well....love like this is a beautiful thing...

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    1. nice...happy birthday to the one you love...smiles...

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  4. the villanelle is my fav form as well and the two you mention are great examples...really like yours much, the warmth and love that carries, gentle and strong... very well done james

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  5. Most likely the most heartfelt poem of love and devotion I have read. Wow. The form executed to perfection, the emotion shared with language that all can feel and depth to envy. Excellent.

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  6. A wonderful villanelle, James, using the form meticulously yet with great soul and feeling. I especially like the middle of it, the third and fourth stanzas--they convey such authentic human truth. I'm very fond of the villanelle as a form, much more so than the flashier sonnet, say, because I think the repeating refrain lines are a really important resonance in poetry. You definitely underline that idea here.

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  7. A wonderful villanelle filled with so much meaning. I can sense the deep love that you have for one another and how important it is. Yes indeed, sharing such love is the deepest prize, the best thing that can happen to anyone in this life! Beautiful sentiments, well expressed.

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  8. sharing love has been treat poem!here greatest prize....it is the best and greatest. Great poem!

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  9. One can see the effort and care you put into constructing this meaningful piece, affirming and promising to keep these vows. A joy to have read, thank you.

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  10. James this is absolutely gorgeous. Steeped in emotion!

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  11. A great job with the form and the sentiment!

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  12. Well, you made it look easy, because this sure was easy to read. It moved right on along, heartwarming the whole way.

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  13. Gracious love and gracious words. Nice.

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  14. Oh yes how easy that looks and reads! It's a keeper to read to my poetry group here at the potters house....also very tender thoughts...thankyou

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  15. Glorious writing - I do love villanelles

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  16. so sad and tender...to the point

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  17. "If death’s the end, then love is the surprise,
    That’s proven life is more than a cliché,
    We’ll know this love until our last goodbyes."

    - this particular verse speaks deeply,... a feel of infinity... a great song to the aging of love... smiles...

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  18. Third and fourth stanza really grab me but the whole is so smooth and not cheesy as are many strict form poems. This is romantic and a treasure. I hope it is truly for someone you love and not just written "because". It is a a very nice "gift" of words

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  19. This is simply beautiful flows like a song of love from the heart.

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  20. Love the re-reading James ~ Oh, what a challenging form, well done ~

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  21. Love is the greatest prize :) Love this poem.

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  22. Very skillful use of the form...your writing is almost understated, and that steers it away from being over-sentimental. Very nice job with this.

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  23. Wonderful rendition of an extremely difficult form - love it!

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  24. "If death’s the end, then love is the surprise,
    That’s proven life is more than a cliché,
    We’ll know this love until our last goodbyes."

    Wow, what a lovely, heartfelt Villanelle. Especially loved the stanza above. When we wake up to that "surprise" each day, when it IS our lives and not "cliche," then we are truly blessed.

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  25. I so love "if death's the end, then love is the surprise." This is a beautiful testament to undying love. A wonderfully executed villanelle.

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  26. A beautiful tribute to love very nicely woven with the villanelle. I have to disagree, though, that the villanelle is one of the most challenging forms. If you write good lines for the repeating refrains then the rest easily falls into place. For me, the sestina or anything that calls for a particular meter are much more challenging. :) Peace, Linda

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  27. Beautifully moving--well done.

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  28. Beautifully moving--well done.

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  29. I love villanelles, although I struggle with the form for myself. But you have set out a polished, fine example, with interesting rhymes (cliché, for instance). And rather romantic...

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  30. This is so lovely and how lucky you and Wendy are to have a love that can outweigh all of life's pain. Cling to it!

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  31. This poem reminds me of a little old man I once knew. I was in my 20's when I met him, and he in his 90's. I would visit him about once a week to chat and play chess, and help around the house. He used to say he hoped he outlived his wife, by one day.

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If you wish your views and opinions to be published here, please be polite and respectful. I welcome feedback on my work and will try to respond if you take the trouble to post a comment. Thanks for visiting 'The Sanctum of Sanity.' Hope you enjoyed the experience, James.