Villanelle for National Poetry Month

Well, as you might suspect, the article referred to in the previous post never materialized. No matter.

The other week I was having an online conversation with a friend of a friend about morality (a subject dear to my heart), and we were discussing what might be universalizable. I said that while I don’t think there is any religion whose totality of moral teachings would be amenable to non-believers, the Biblical precept of “love thy neighbor as thyself” always struck me as a reasonable starting place, and we agreed that it would be a better world if people all showed compassion for and respect for the rights of their fellow humans, no matter what other differences they may have.

As I told some friends a few months ago, what I find most inspiring is when people stand up to improve the lives of others to whom they have no connection or shared affiliation save for their shared humanity. I am fortunate to have many friends out improving the world.

Anyway, this poem is some love for those who love their neighbors.

——

Relax, my friend, for you have earned your rest.
Though you may strive to set the world aright,
Just be yourself and I will be impressed.

Each day need not become an endless test
Wherein your burden is a constant fight.
Relax, my friend, for you have earned your rest.

Ambition drives you to become the best,
Yet blinds you to your current glowing light.
Just be yourself, and I will be impressed.

You seek to save the weak and dispossessed,
Yet for yourself, the care you give seems slight.
Relax, my friend, for you have earned your rest.

Your awesomeness I hope you will digest,
My love for you could have no upper height.
Just be yourself, and I will be impressed.

You’ll fix the world, and I applaud your quest,
But know you need not do it all tonight.
Relax, my friend, for you have earned your rest.
Just be yourself, and I will be impressed.

—————

Comments (2)

Emily BrightSeptember 4th, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Um, wow. Can I use this in an online class I’m teaching on classic poetic forms? We’re spending a class period on villanelles and pantoums. I’d include this as an awesome contemporary example and link it to this blog. Do you have a title?

GTVSeptember 4th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Emily, you’d be most welcome to do so. I believe my original title was “Villanelle for my friends out saving the world.”

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