Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Meet me @ Tiffany's?

Holly Golightly haunts the streets of New York.
Look into the distance. The girl is gone,
and each diamond is simply a star in the dark

that she followed far from the well-worn track.
Now the stars are her jewels, the night, her gown.
Holly Golightly haunts the streets of New York.

Her reflection was elegant, slender and stark.
She toasted each dawn by strolling downtown
to the diamonds that spilled like tears from the dark.

Her moon river still leaps like a cat over rocks,
her small voice floating its singular tune.
Holly Golightly haunts the streets of New York

Slipping on shades to mimic the black
for she knew that the party would be over too soon
and that diamonds are lovely tricks of the dark

In each life, that solitary walk
into a distance that is ours alone.
Holly Golightly haunts the streets of New York,
And each diamond? Just a diamond, lost in the dark.
Tracey Herd, "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

16 comments:

FreeThinke said...

A nice piece of work! A quasi-villanelle –– a suggestion of a villanelle –– something almost-but-not-quite a villanelle. The true villanelle has nineteen lines all right, but follows an extremely restrictive rhyme scheme.

Here's an example of the real thing:

__________ The Labyrinth __________

Dementia mocks and teases as it lures
Into a maze of ever-smaller halls,
And leads to places where one finds no cures

Places where we hope to find detours
That help avoid colliding with blank walls.
Dementia mocks and teases as it lures

The hapless to where nothing reassures.
Where projects die, and yet Hope still enthralls,
And leads to places where one finds no cures.

Still, respiration cunningly endures,
And memory sharpening briefly quickly stalls.
Dementia mocks and teases as it lures.

Each shred of fading consciousness immures
The view we long to see within high walls,
And leads to places where one finds no cures.

A dreariness takes charge, and then adjures
Us to endure a journey of withdrawals.
Dementia mocks and teases as it lures,
And leads to places where one finds no cures.


~ FreeThinke (2008)

FreeThinke said...

FYI: VILLANELLE - The villanelle has 19 lines, 5 stanzas of three lines each, and 1 stanza of four lines with two rhymes and two refrains. The 1st, then the 3rd lines alternate as the last lines of stanzas 2,3,and 4, and then stanza 5 (the end) as a couplet. It is usually written in tetrameter (4 feet) or iambic pentameter. The structure is:

line 1 - a - 1st refrain

line 2 - b

line 3 - a - 2nd refrain

line 4 - a

line 5 - b

line 6 - a - 1st refrain (same as line 1)

line 7 - a

line 8 - b

line 9 - a - 2nd refrain (same as line 2)

line 10 - a

line 11 - b

line 12 - a - 1st refrain (same as line 1)

line 13 - a

line 14 - b

line 15 - a - 2nd refrain (same as line 2)

line 16 - a

line 17 - b

line 18 - a - 1st refrain (same as line 1)

line 19 - a - 2nd refrain

I highly recommend trying to write one, if only as an academic exercise. It's a great "brain teaser," good mental exercise, and far more creative than solving crossword puzzles –– or doing opposition research on Klintona the Kackling Krook. };^[)>

A poetic Mamselle they called Belle
In a charming villa lived well,
She once sought an award
But got balked and then bored,
When she failed to pen a villanelle!

FreeThinke said...

PS: The best known examples of the villanelle are

Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

and

Edwin Arlington Robinson's The House on the Hill

FreeThinke said...

__ The House on the Hill __

They are all gone away,
The House is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.

Through broken walls and gray
The winds blow bleak and shrill.
They are all gone away.

Nor is there one to-day
To speak them good or ill:
There is nothing more to say.

Why is it then we stray
Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away,

And our poor fancy-play
For them is wasted skill:
There is nothing more to say.

There is ruin and decay
In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say.


~ Edward Arlington Robinson

We should notice Robinson's uncommon use of triple meter. Like Shakespeare, Milton and many others, Dylan Thomas employed traditional iambic pentameter in Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

FreeThinke said...

It never ceases to amaze me how passionate, deeply expressive and hauntingly evocative a poet can be when disciplining himself to work within the most confining traditional forms.

-FJ said...

What, no comments on the music in the video? ;)

Personally, I love the idea of violins and cellos in contemporary lyrical pieces.

FreeThinke said...

I'll give the video a whirl later, FJ. I have to admit I usually avoid your musical selections, because:

A) I usually find them ugly, irritating, cacophonous and stupefyingly monotonous

B) I try to avoid making pointed insults at someone else's taste };^)>

Sorry, but you DID ask. Perhaps this selection might cause me to revise my opinion. We'll see ...

Have you tried to write your villanelle yet? I am positive you are smart enough to do it, once you set your mind to it. Perhaps a nice change from "potatoes?" Do try it.

-FJ said...

Sounds like the gauntlet has been thrown down. Perhaps a little later, I'll give one a whirl.

-FJ said...

ps - Many people find Archilochus' poetry 'grating' as well. Yet I find it creatively original...

“The Spartans ordered that the books of Archilochus should be removed from their state because they considered them indecent, and would not have their children indoctrinated with writings which might do more harm to their morals than good to their wits.” - Valerius Maximus, "Memorable Deeds and Sayings"

-FJ said...

I plant fresh amaranths upon her grave
Depart then divest my possessions
Much to confess I am but a knave

Putting on vestments ill suited the brave
I return to the shrine where in sessions
I plant fresh amaranths upon her grave

Journeying now dispossessed of my glaive
Resounding silence divulges obsessions
Much to confess I am but a knave

Stirring the earth with the end of my stave
filling manifold empty depressions
I plant fresh amaranths upon her grave

Wishing no longer my will to enslave
refusing to face a life's lessons
Much to confess I am but a knave

Inconstancy's commitment ne'r forgave
Overriding my memories impressions
I plant fresh amaranths upon her grave
Much to confess I am but a knave

ouch!

-FJ said...

from Wiki:

The word amaranth comes from the Greek word amaranton, meaning "unwilting" (from the verb marainesthai meaning "wilt"). The word was applied[by whom?] to amaranth because it did not soon fade and so symbolized immortality. "Amarant" is a more correct, albeit archaic form, chiefly used in poetry. The current spelling, amaranth, seems to have come from folk etymology that assumed the final syllable derived from the Greek word anthos ("flower"), common in botanical names.

FreeThinke said...

I've always known you were brilliant, even if 9/10's of your remarks are either copies of, or links to material others have produced.

You did extremely well, FJ. If I were your teacher, I'd give you an A –– seriously.

You may have missed your true calling. Perhaps you have the makings of a poet after all.

A calling I urge you to pursue, if only for pleasure.

A FEW PROFESSORIAL EDITS - DAMNED FEW!

I plant fresh amarant upon her grave,
Depart then, and divest my possessions.
Much to confess I am but a knave.

Putting on vestments ill suited the brave,
I return to the shrine where in sessions
I plant fresh amarant upon her grave.

Journeying now, dispossessed of my glaive,
Resounding silence divulges obsessions.
Much to confess I am but a knave.

Stirring the earth with the end of my stave
Filling manifold empty depressions
I plant fresh amarant upon her grave.

Wishing no longer my will to enslave,
Refusing to face one of Life's lessons,
Much to confess I am but a knave,

Inconstancy's commitment never forgave,
Overriding Memory's impressions,
I plant fresh amarant upon her grave
Much to confess I am but a knave.


~ FJ

As you can see, I prefer the more correct, antique version of amarant. Also, personification of a qualities such as Memory, Honesty, Fidelity, Wisdom, Calumny, etc. sounds grander, more elegant, and simply more poetic than making it merely personal saying "my memory," "my wisdom," "my guilt" and the like which tends to sound puerile.

I have a high school friend who's lived in Britain for over forty years. She's an honors graduate of Smith College, also a poet who's been published in anthologies by Oxford University Press and others, and SHE confessed to me that she has never been able to write a villanelle.

Ergo, consider yourself especially gifted. ;-)

-FJ said...

Thanks, FT, that's quite an improvement. If I ever do another, I'll be sure to consult you.

ps - Puerile is my middle name. ;)

FreeThinke said...

I'd like you to do at least five more before then of the month, FJ.

You really do have astonishing facility.

Perhaps you'd like yo try an acrostic sonnet on the word HILLARY MUST DIE?

Here I'll start you off.

H
I
L
L

A
R
Y
M

U
S
T
D

I
E

abab - cdcd - efef - gg

Perhaps GERT would like to join us, and write one on ANTISEMITIMISM?

All you need is a coherent 14-letter pattern to start.

FreeThinke said...

FYI: Can't listen to the music. Sorry! The G__ D___ Flash Player's out again. It may be days –– or weeks –– before service is restored.

-FJ said...

No worries. It's just more of that sane whiney music that so irritates you. :)