Thursday, January 28, 2010

Villanelle for Three-Legged Chair


I think I recognize you: I'm not sure
but you look so familiar I could swear
I've seen you someplace else, sometime before.

Like shadows cast outside an open door,
like faces glimpsed through veils of falling hair,
I think I recognize you. I'm not sure

of much these days, and this is one thing more
that's slipped my grasp. I can't remember where
I've seen you. Someplace else, sometime before,

we must have waltzed across some ballroom floor
and gone out to the balcony for air...
I think. I recognize you. I'm not sure

if I've forgotten, or if I've made war
on memory. There's things that I can't bear
I've seen. You, someplace else, sometime before

abducted me to some uncharted shore,
a shock like sitting on a three-legged chair.
I thought I recognized you: now I'm sure
I've seen you someplace else, sometime before.

image by Milad Gheisari courtesy of Read Write Poem

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

from Therese L. Broderick -- very beautiful poem which captures the different stages through which a viewer of this photo passes: puzzlement, desire to recognize something familiar, dawning of tragic memory, the pain of full recognition. I like how the three line stanzas relate to the three legs of the chair.

joannejohns said...

The structure of this flows so beautifully, it dances in your mind.

caroleesherwood said...

those moments of wondering about recognition can feel so odd. you've captured it here well!

rallentanda said...

Beautiful use of the villanelle form.Odd..my poem has recognition and balcony in it as well!

Derrick said...

I like this very much; it really flows. When I read villanelle it seems they ought to be easy but I know otherwise!

bearlyaudible said...

As a wave approaches the shore, faceless for so long. Then...
Just how recognition comes. Nicely done!

flaubert said...

" I have seen you someplace else, sometime before".

Very nice
Pamela

Tumblewords: said...

You write a wonderful villanelle. The repetition is so cleverly embedded it seems new each time.

Wayne Pitchko said...

I am still waltzing across that ballroom...nicely done again....thanks for sharing this

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

Beautifully crafted. The villanelle seems to work well for you, as its natural repetition makes this piece strong. It's like I'm watching the thought process unfold and evolve, from uncertainty to recognition. Well done.

-Nicole