a villanelle

I have been remembering lately, late January 2010, (via the comments to this poem) that I wrote it in several phases. It’s a break-up poem (oh, breaking up really is so hard to do). The situation that inspired it occurred when the young lady addressed as “you” had graduated from high school and once off at college—probably late the next spring—determined we should separate. Clearly, I did not want to. Later, in my memories summertime weather, I convinced her to re-establish our relationship, but it didn’t last. By the late fall or early winter of that same year, 1974, it was all over when she had definitely met and gotten closer to her future husband.

Busy Music

The busy music bends me on my way
in prisoned love denying maturation,
and love’s a rune we cannot shape or say.

I said I loved you when I hadn’t, fey:
you harnessed me in heartstring traces,
and the busy music bends us on our way.

You snared my heart with wordless magic sway,
a witchcraft forged from kissing and embraces,
for love’s a rune we cannot shape or say.

We waltzed like children in a timeless May
til you commenced to conjure other faces,
and the busy music bends us on our way.

Still childish sorcery sends my heart to stay
selfbound within those former loving laces,
for love’s a rune we cannot shape or say.

You are consumed by distance, and today
I exhale my impassioned incantations:
the busy music bends us on our way
and love’s a rune we cannot shape or say.

Although this is ages old, it remains one of my very favorite of my poems. (And yes, this one is also posted on Facebook Notes.) I have only written one other villanelle, and the tight repetition and rhyme scheme make that one read more stiffly than this, the first I ever tried. The busy music referred both to the kind of music I was listening to and to life itself, of course.

Commentary

©2009 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.