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Friday 26 October 2012

Replying to Dylan Thomas

Though that dark night invites us all to pray,
its coming is no time for mortal fear.
Be glad you will escape eternal day!

If day was bright, then we should hymn its ray,
but could you face it endlessly lived here,
with no dark night inviting us to pray?

Life's glories are a transient bouquet
and life that was not fleeting would be drear.
Be glad you will escape eternal day.

The ancient wheel revolves, I've heard men say -
and shall it be your treadmill, your whole sphere,
though that dark night invites us all to pray?

Earth moulds us as a sculptor moulds his clay
yet does not cast, thinks permanence severe.
Be glad you will escape eternal day.

The best is this: sound sleep beyond the fray
and knowledge of a loved one very near -
though that dark night invites us all to pray,
be glad you will escape eternal day!

Written for Semaphore's (Samuel Peralta's) prompt at dVerse Poets' ~ Pub asking that we attempt the Villanelle form, and giving as his model the world's best (probably) and best known (certainly) example, Dylan Thomas's Do not go gentle (read it here)


Brian Miller said...

nice man....luckily we have both night and day, like the seasons ever changing...giving us relief from the other....i rather enjoy the night..very nice to form sir...

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Nicely done. A thoughtful work. I do like the line "Life's glories are a transient bouquet".

kaykuala said...

though that dark night invites us all to pray,be glad you will escape eternal day!

The last two lines stamped the end all. It's like telling us to be aware of what's coming! Nicely Dave!


Ginny Brannan said...

This is excellent! Especially like:
"The best is this: sound sleep beyond the fray
and knowledge of a loved one very near -"

That is the best!! Nicely penned!

Anonymous said...

Quite wonderful! More than quite wonderful - a really amazing response - especially for those of us who feel prey of that dark night. k.

PS _ hope you are right.


Mary said...

Thought-provoking, Dave. I see your point. Eternal Day would definitely be hard to endure!!

(You seem to write villanelles very naturally! Perhaps it is YOUR form!!)

Anonymous said...

Dave - I hesitate to put a link in a comment - but you have a sense of humor so may like this. It's an old illustrated villanelle:


Claudia said...

what a wonderful idea to write a reply to dylan thomas wonderful villanelle..and you did an awesome job dave..

Cressida de Nova said...

Very lovely Dave. Great villanelle.
The last stanza is very poignant and a good way to say goodbye.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Good to use the well known version of the form to build your own and give its a personal spin

The Weaver of Grass said...

As a fervent Dylan fan I can say that I think you have made a very good stab at this Dave.

Rachna Chhabria said...

"Life's glories are a transient bouquet"
Great lines Dave. Loved the poem.

hedgewitch said...

This is an excellent transposition (and with the eyes of age I say evolution,) of Thomas' refrain. I think there comes a time when the glare of day is like an endless desert journey, and arrival at the cool evening oasis most welcome. Lovely, proficient work with the form, David.

Unknown said...

Beautifully realized and a thoughtful response. I agree, I would rather go gently and with grace.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

A splendid answer to the great Dylan Thomas's "gentle" lines, absolutely intense and delightful in its rhythm. It almost manages to convince the less willing among us to welcome the night..

Beachanny said...

So do not rage so against the dying of the light, for eternal light, like a constant burning sun would be hellish and no cooling, restful night would be tortuous. The use of repetition with each changing stanza here brings more depth of meaning, and more acceptance of the transient quality of life. Beautiful, and meaningful! I always look forward to reading your work. Thank you so much for your comments on mine.

L. Edgar Otto said...

Ahh, poet,

our thoughts move along parallel lines this witching season

sorry I have been so busy, but I post something like a ghost story on my blog today called Blue Baby that I thought you might enjoy

Thank you for your presence in our lives...

The PeSla

Linda said...

Very thought provoking, Dave. This is great!

Cloudia said...

You must think my praise cheap. I spread it around here with suspect regularity indeed, but your work regularly wrestles with the Big questions
to my delight and profit. I can stick to my idiosyncratic specialties, content that you succeed where I would but spend myself. Then I swoop in and read it here. You GOOD, Bro-

Weekend Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

> < } } (°>


Weekend Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

> < } } (°>


Dave King said...

Hi, all!
Alas, I can't get round just now, but will try to catch up with you all later.

Much appreciate all your very kind and encouraging comments.

Dave King said...

Thanks for - me too, I'm a night bird.
(or used to be!)

J Cosmo
Welcome. Good to have you visiting. And thanks for the comment.

Yes, not to fear it, really. We might like a much longer life, but not for ever.

Good to hear your thoughts. Thanks for them.

Thanks for the kind words - including the good wishes. Yes, for now I am. P.S. Interesting link. Thanks again.

Thanks for these thoughts. No, actually I find Villanelles very difficult. I don't often stray into such territory. But I did enjoy writing this. Maybe I should give them a whirl now and again.

Much thanks for these generous words. Very encouraging.

Cressida de Nova
Thank you. Good to know you think this - and really good to have you visiting.

Hi, welcome and many thanks for your comment.

The Weaver of Grass
I take this as a great compliment. I, too, am a Thomas fan. Got "into him" (as they say) at college. The BBC broadcast of Under Milk Wood was my "in".

Thank you for saying so. really appreciated.

Yes, I can agree with all that. I love the evening as I love the autumn. There was always something about them, even when I was small.

Yes, I think so - in fact, I'm sure.

The time comes, I'm sure. A time for everything, as Eliot says.

Thank you so much for this much valued comment. Delightful and generous.

Much thanks and a warm welcome to you. Loved the read on your blog.

Good to have your comment. Thank you.

The trick is to turn the trivial question and make it sound like a big'un! Thanks for your great comment.