Monday, May 10, 2010

the dust from the tabernacle floor




I don't usually write rhyming poems, but we studied the Villanelle last week and I quite like it. Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is the best example of the form. Here's one I wrote last week - I think it falls into abstraction too often, and the rhymes aren't great, but it's a first attempt.


He ate the dust from the tabernacle floor
Taking the lonely and making them whole
Swallowing the voices of the hollering poor

He spoke tenderly to the woman, the whore
By the well he settled her soul
He ate the dust from the tabernacle floor

Made fishers of men on the sandy shore
Living water flushed from darkened coal
Swallowing the voices of the hollering poor

Stripped from us the clothes we wore
Breaking bread before the rooster crowed
He ate the dust from the tabernacle floor

Reproached by teachers of the Rabbinic law
their hands still lingering in the money bowl
when he swallowed the voices of the hollering poor

Humanity’s nakedness exposed once more
When on the tree hung life in death: a single toll
He ate the dust from the tabernacle floor
Swallowing the voices of the hollering poor

4 comments:

Dominic said...

Dear Soph, As I said when you read it to me I thought this was great !:) Cheers, Dominicsi

sophg said...

Thanks!

Ali said...

Yes, well done for this Soph. I have been wanting to write a villanelle ever since Judith's class, but I haven't found my two lines yet!

sophg said...

I was really surprised by how hard it was to work out the tenses. They're a mess in this because of my two repeating lines.

Makes sense of Judith's comments that the form suits nostalgia over narrative.