Sunday, September 2, 2012



Some things should not be left to chance;
Why should those with youth lay claim to love?
While the music plays let us dance.

We’ve lived and learned from circumstance;
With age should we lose all hope for love?
Some things should not be left to chance.

Across the room you risked a glance;
The angels whispered from above,
While the music plays let us dance.

Romance is not extravagance;
Holding hands is not enough.
Some things should not be left to chance.

Together our lives have substance;
Shallow youth pales in our new love.
While the music plays let us dance.

We will not yearn for past remembrance;
Or store regrets for long-lost love.
Some things should not be left to chance.
While the music plays let us dance.

By Charles Patrick Norman, September 1, 2012
Editor’s note: In his continuing pursuit to develop a basic poetry workshop program, Charlie has been studying different poetic forms. This new piece is a villanelle, a poetic form that appeared in English language poetry in the 19th century from the French models, although the word itself is derived from the Italian, villanelle, and the Latin, villanus.

Characteristics of this form include the use of only two rhyme sounds with the first and third lines of the first stanza as the rhyming refrains. These refrains alternate as the third line in each successive stanza and together form a couplet at the close. A villanelle consists of nineteen lines arranged in five tercets and one concluding quatrain.

Villanelles do not tell a story or establish a conversational tone, but are comparable more to a lyrical dance form accompanied by sung lyrics or an instrumental piece.

The form enjoyed a revival beginning in the 1930’s. In the 1990’s many contemporary poets composed villanelles, often varying the form in innovative ways. One of the more well-known villanelles was written by the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, and was entitled, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.”

Charlie’s efforts at improvement are ongoing, and he would welcome your comments and criticisms.

With gratitude,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

made me cry (vox) Sad to see a romantic and brilliant soul locked away. Good on you both. Thanks for sharing with us.