That Gull’s Flyin’ Low – Villanelle – October 16, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat gull’s flyin’ low, into the east
His longing call woke me up at dawn
On this special day, when I should feast —

Day’s not even born, though light’s increased
And already I’m feelin’ like I’m just his pawn,
That gull’s flyin’ low, into the east.

Inside somethin’s gnawing at me like a beast
Makin’ me feel like I should be movin’ on …
On, this special day, when I should feast …

If I followed that gull, I’d find release …
Wonder if he’d even ask why I’d gone
That gull’s flyin’ low, into the east –

Guess I’m stayin’ one more day at least
I’ll just keep my peace and carry on
That gull’s flyin’ low into the east
On this special day, when I should feast.

(c) G.s.k. ’14

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A villanelle is an ancient Italian pastoral poem, probably originally from Sicily from around the 16th century.  French poets (and then English poets) picked it up in the 18th and 19th century but it never really made its splash until the 20th century when Dylan Thomas and others began to use the form.

The poem is composed of four tercets and then an ending closing stanza of four lines. The first and last refrains are repeated alternatively in the second, third and fourth tercet and then once again in the last stanza.  The first lines of the second through the fourth tercets and the beginning of the closing stanza must rhyme with the refrains … the second lines all throughout the poem rhyme with themselves … complicated to explain but easy to write, believe me … here’s the poem again with color codes to show you how the refrains and rhymes work … there is no special meter or syllable count requirement to the poem btw.

§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ù

That gull’s flyin’ low, into the east
His longing call woke me up at dawn
On this special day, when I should feast —

Day’s not even born, though light’s increased
And already I’m feelin’ like I’m just his pawn,
That gull’s flyin’ low, into the east.

Inside somethin’s gnawing at me like a beast
Makin’ me feel like I should be movin’ on
On, this special day, when I should feast …

If I followed that gull, I’d find release
Wonder if he’d even ask why I’d gone
That gull’s flyin’ low, into the east –

Guess I’m stayin’ one more day at least
I’ll just keep my peace and carry on
That gull’s flyin’ low into the east
On this special day, when I should feast.

For other examples of the villanelle go to visit Poetry Soup!

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27 thoughts on “That Gull’s Flyin’ Low – Villanelle – October 16, 2014

  1. I’ve always found the Villanelle easy to digest – I like the repetition and the flow that lends itself in this form. 🙂

    And I really enjoyed your piece – the sense of flight – soaring- freedom – is clear – a longing of a wish unfulfilled. The tension is just so right. Great job!

    Like

    • Thanks Pat … it’s been a while since I’ve written a villanelle and think this was the best one I’ve written so far. I like how the repetition makes it flow, kind of like the tide. As you’re a lover of villanelle, I’m really glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very very nice Georgia! I vote for the villanelle … if you know what I mean. 😉
    The language takes what some people find to be a “stuffy” form and makes it accessible and really makes the reader relate to the speaker.
    What a great photo too — probably a happy accident — just a great feel to it.
    And — alas — like the gull, I’ll be sticking around another day when I just want to fly, fly, fly…..
    Great poem —

    Like

    • Thanks … I was writing it when the question was asked .. but decided to publish anyway or I wouldn’t have a poem for yesterday … the photo is no happy accident in the sense that I’d already used it for “spirit” and when I was writing the poem it came instantly to mind. I think thie villanelle will be number 1 then .. ok?

      Liked by 1 person

        • Ah yes … for me it’s always an accident to catch a bird flying … I have to go where there are lots of ’em and hope … my shutter time for some reason is so long … frustration!

          Like

          • Frustrating indeed. My camera’s been taking longer than normal too — and I’m wondering — if you have too many photos in your camera’s internal “computer” / memory, would that cause the “save” speed to slow down?

            Like

          • Well that I don’t know … don’t think it should matter … I think when I was fiddling around with my settings I goofed something up …

            Like

          • …. ah …. I do remember a shutter speed setting on my own camera …. perhaps it’s worth looking into that. Or at least marching into the camera shop (again) and pleading for help ….!

            So many settings …. so easy to mess them up. Reminds me of Spiderman: “with great power comes great responsibility”. 😉

            Like

          • I’m waiting for my lad to come home and see if he can give me a hand … I’ve tried to read the instruction booklet but I think it was originally written in some oscure Chinese dialect translated into Japanese then google translated into English.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Well the taking of the optical unit adjustment process to the thinking pathway enlightenment is a many step entrance. 😉

            Like

  3. Pingback: #Prompt for #DigiWriMo | Elizabeth Kate Switaj

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