Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Vector of Villanelles










After writing very few villanelles over the last--oh, let's say lots--of years, I've written several lately. I'm not exactly sure why. I am exactly sure they're not perfect. I'm having a good time with them, though. That counts for somethings.

What to call a group of things? That's the premise of a book called AN EXULTATION OF LARKS. A group of crows is called an unkindness of crows. I think that's a bit mean. A gaggle of geese: that's a familiar one. I wonder what a group of academics is called. A tweed of academics? A pedantry of academics?

A group of villanelles, I've decided, should be called a vector of villanelles, because it is a bit like a disease, this itch to write them, even if it's a harmless diseases, and some diseases require a vector, don't they?

Anyway, another villanelle.


I Think I Know


I think I know exactly what you need:
Someone to say you and your work are good.
But generosity is rare indeed.

Thirst needs its quench, hunger its feed.
But no less basic: to be understood.
I think I know exactly what you need.

To live among the petty might well lead
You to conclude you're just no good.
Yes, generosity is rare indeed.

To care, to listen take no special creed.
So tell me how you are. I'm in the mood
To learn about exactly what you need.

Someone who gives a damn: that's a rare breed,
For each self-centered tree thinks it's the woods.
Though generosity is rare indeed,
I think I know exactly what you need.


Hans Ostrom Copyright Hans Ostrom 2008
Post a Comment