Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday's Villanelle

A Little Something That Refrains


Let's write a little something that refrains
From trying to be more than poetry.
The language moving in a poem obtains.

For language is an actor, plays and feigns,
And hopes we'll see what it wants us to see.
Let's write a little something that refrains

Itself in lyric and won't grab for gains,
But is content simply to seem and be
The language, moving. In a poem, "obtains"

Can take an object or refuse. The lanes
Of speech form labyrinths. Let's drink some tea.
Let's write a little. Something that refrains

Might well refresh. The mind's eye strains
Relentlessly, desires profundity.
The language moving in a poem obtains:

It's there like creeks and rivulets from rains.
Word-lovers lap up language happily.
Let's write a little something that refrains.
The language moving in a poem obtains.


Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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