Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Day 4

A history poem, huh? I didn’t really know where to go with this, since in a lot of ways, most poems I write are history poems–they’re histories of my time as a Jehovah’s Witness or my relationship with Amy or my daughter or any of the other moments in my life, and I didn’t want to back into the poem that way. That feels too much like the end of a game of “I Never” where you’re justifying taking a drink no matter what gets claimed.

So here’s my entry–an effed-up modification of a villanelle that (hopefully) prods at the idea of a true personal history and the idea of an objective truth. Except, you know, in 19 lines, 2 of which are repeated in some form. I’m doing some serious bar-lowering here, in case that wasn’t already clear.

Recursive Villanelle

I am here to write a history poem.
I want every word in it to be true.
I want this to be a beautiful poem.

I want my readers to be perfect readers.
I want their interpretations to be true.
I am here to write a history poem.

My intentions are pure; my cause is just.
Every word in my poem must be perfect and true.
I want this to be a beautiful poem.

This can’t be a history poem. My history
is honest but can never be true.
I am here to write a history poem.

I want to be the hero with the snappy comebacks
whose every motive is pure and true.
I want this to be a beautiful poem.

Every poem I write is a history poem.
I came here to write a history poem.
I hoped it would be a beautiful poem.
This isn’t a poem, but I do think it’s true.

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April 4, 2010 - Posted by | National Poetry Month, original poetry, Poetic Asides |

1 Comment »

  1. Wow, that’s pretty bad. I love you! 🙂

    Comment by Amy | April 4, 2010 | Reply


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