Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Do I part my hair behind?
Do I dare to post a poem?


Oh, I think I do!

I promise not to make a habit out of this, really, I swear...but we were assigned the task of writing or attempting to write a villanelle. So I did. I wrote it about a dream I had the other night, in which a Russian man gave me a Russian-English phrasebook and ordered me to read a traditional Russian toast, as we were about to drink. I tried to explain that I couldn't read Cyrillic, at which he began to laugh and make fun of me. I then attempted, with my feeble grasp of the language, to call him a son-of-a-bitch (turns out what I actually called him translates into a viable Russian surname). Anyways, it stuck in my mind because it's the first time in a while that I've woken up and been able to recall 1) actual dialogue and 2) written alphabetic characters from within the vapor of a dream. So here it is.

(Side note: The title translates from Russian to "Words.")

СЛОВА

You put the words in front of me to say
And laugh when I confess I cannot read
These phrases written in a foreign way.

Why should I have to read them, anyway?
I protest, but you calmly pay no heed
And put the words in front of me to say.

It is a toast, a grandiose display
Of bonhomie that hides your drunken greed,
These phrases written in a foreign way.

I curse you wildly, but to my dismay
You laugh at my embittered, hateful screed
And put the words in front of me to say.

I wish that I could somehow tear away
From this humiliation and be freed
Of phrases written in a foreign way.

This is an insult that I can't convey
In words. The nightmare never will recede:
You put the words in front of me to say,
These phrases written in a foreign way.

3 Comments:

Blogger Dymphna said...

I *like* this poem. I'm glad you read it to me, the oral aspect really releases the power. I wish I could always hear the poet speaking his/her own work...it allows for depth you don't get otherwise.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

This is an excellent villanelle!

It is just right; spare and sharp. Great job.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

You will like this. Not as much as Homsar, but you will like it.

The Quantum Catfish Outdoors Show

10:36 PM  

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