Villanelle: Sleep

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Villanelle: a pastoral or lyrical poem of nineteen lines, with only two rhymes throughout, and some lines repeated.

Cubby, from Poetry that purrs challenged me to produce a villanelle. No sooner said than done! In true Blue Peter fashion , here’s one I made (wrote) earlier; Curating memories is very much on my mind at present: the nine year- old son who inspired the poem now being a strapping 29 year old who’s set us the Loft Challenge. He brings down piles of memorabilia ; we try to sort it all out before his next visit. Easy!  So just to embarrass him, here’s Sleep, a villanelle I wrote for a creative writing course (how did  I find the time then?) many moons ago.

 

Sleep

 

He drifts, lids fluttering, hinting at a light.

With grubby thumb in mouth he travels time;

Beyond the bounds of sleep; beyond our sight.

 

What thoughts chase through his mind, what shades his night?

As games and playground scraps jostle in line,

he drifts; lids fluttering, hinting at a light.

 

Wrapped round in quilted cloak he joins the fight:

For yo-yos “sleep”* forever when you’re nine.

Beyond the bounds of sleep; beyond our sight.

 

In dreams he chooses sides, his team spells might.

Legs kick out, blanket falls – “ Goal, goal. It’s mine!”

He drifts, lids fluttering, hinting at a light.

 

Dark ogres, nameless fears; with flush of fright

He foils some other self. Of him no sign

Beyond the bounds of sleep; beyond our sight.

 

Close clasped, hand held, he settles for the night.

I watch him suck his thumb, this child of mine.

He drifts, lids fluttering, hinting at a light.

Beyond the bounds of sleep, beyond our sight.

 

* “ Sleep” in yo-yo playing vocab is when the yo-yo continues to spin whilst being trailed along the ground.

©️ Jane Sigrist 1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories Poetry

10 thoughts on “Villanelle: Sleep”

  1. I love the “He foils some other self. Of him no sign” line. Very well written! Thanks for sharing! I am a Creative Life Coach with a poetry blog and today’s here is today’s in case you have time to look? It is also a Villanelle!

    https://peacockpoetryblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/blurred-lines/

    I am also on Instagram as #coachingcreatively, let’s follow each other if you use this medium? You can also find me on Facebook under Sam Allen wearing a bright red and orange hat!

    I love connecting with fellow creatives as you can see!

    Sunny greetings from Switzerland!

    Sam 🙂

    Reply
  2. Reblogged this on Holding Heaven and commented:

    ‘This Time Last Year,’ or roundabout: an occasional look back at what was brewing in ‘Holding Heaven.’ Have i managed to write another villanelle? No. Is the loft cleared yet? Slow and steady wins the race!

    Reply

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