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« Long Ago, and Far Away: Sinatra at the Hollywood Bowl, 1943 & 1948 | Main | Daniel Nester and Jonah Winter's proposed names of poetry books »

November 19, 2023


Brilliant villanelle! Love this poem.

Great villanelle!

an extended HAIKU for sure: meaning and nature.


"I can’t tell if it’s murder or chivaree./You know it’s mountain. Listen at the whine.'
Wow! Doc and Merle are loving this poem and setting it to music already, wherever they are!
I hope you will share this one with Ray Wylie Hubbard too, he just might set it to song!

Anyone who's lived close to cicadas sure identifies with this! Really enjoyed it.

Very arty, R. T.

Talk about speaking my language. The subject (I’m obsessed with cicadas. In Bmore they sing in f sharp. The form. I love it. It’s a fave of mine. The music. Of course cicadas sing the blues.

Oh and yeah Doc Watson. “Oh Dearh…”. And the way Avila Elle has so much in common with ballad merger and 12 bar blues.

A magical conversion, a high wire act. Who’da thunk we could make the jump from Doc Watson to this other supreme vibration?

Bingo! Bravo!

A villanelle it is. Good job!!!!

Ah, sweet villanelle, mighty meter of mood and music along with sublime rhyme from the minds of masters. Here R.T. Smith proves he’s one. Citing Doc Watson in his title ratifies his taste in music. The mood Smith coaxes into being is, ironically, note-perfect, including the discordant chorus of ever-tuning cicadas. I suspect even insects aspire to the sweet savor of Doc Watson singing and picking “blues chords” with “a sober shine.” First link below has Doc performing “Deep River Blues.” Second link below has him explaining how. (Pick it up at 1:37 on the timer.) But even Doc can’t quite fully explain his je ne sais quoi genius. The brilliance of Smith’s villanelle actually comes the closest. I’m now certain “R.T.” stands for “Right Touch.” And Terence Winch’s weekly poem picking also remains flawless.

Earle:  thanks for the excellent comment (and links).

What a wonderful villanelle. And, yeah, those darn cicadas!

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That Ship Has Sailed
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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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