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« "The Prophecy of an Assassination": On "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962) [by David Lehman] | Main | The Definition of Gardening [poem by James Tate] »

August 07, 2022


Wonderful poem whose formal vessel serves to elevate it into the lyrical sublime. The wit, the wryness, the rhyme--all worth having!

Love it! Who hasn't lost something cherished in a breakup? Great use of the villanelle form--losing/Bishop echoes.

This is penetratingly beautiful. Form contains the tumult perfectly.

Great on every way! The form works perfectly.

I love this poem and the Phil Collins CD artwork--it’s great

Wry, witty, serious villanelle. I enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed Phil's Greatest Hits, too. All those (sad) love songs. Everything is connected.

It's nice to learn about the villanelle. It's fun to try your hand at sosmething new. I think it was explained there very well.//The words I use are not that hard to spell. I wouldn't want to overtrouble you. It was nice to learn about the villanelle.//It may take time for all the lines to gel. So don't feel bad if you're not quickly through. I think it was explained there very well.// In descending from a mountain, you rappel. But here there's nothing quite that hard to do. It's nice to learn about the villanelle.// In having fun, there's no need to compel. In fun, there's nothing hard you must construe. I think it was explained there very well.//I hope that what I've written won't repel or make you think it's hardly worth a view. It's fun to learn about the villanelle. I think it was explained there very well.

As a form the villanelle is beautiful because it is so constrictive, and the trick is to observe the requirements while altering the diction and content to suit the present. As you do. A tip of the fedora, too, for naming her "Celia" -- as much in the spirit of "The Importance of Being Earnest" as in that of Ben Jonson's "To Celia."

This poem would be much more credible if the CD were by Paul Kelly rather than Phil Collins.

I would like to thank everyone for their very kind comments. I have only ever written one villanelle, this one - same goes for the triolet, sestina and pantoum - and I shall now quit while I'm ahead.

If only for my peace of mind, I would also like to say that while I think Phil Collins is an excellent drummer I have never owned one of his records and never will.

Thank you again. I'm very pleased you enjoyed the poem.

Thanks. Enjoyed this greatly.

Totally delightful!

I like this poem all the more — & I already relished it a lot — knowing that the poet has never owned a Phil Collins record.

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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