When the Poetry Seven decided to embark on a year of writing a poem a month together, I was hoping we'd start with an "easy" form. Alas, it was not to be. We jumped into writing a villanelle, a French verse form consisting of 19 lines with five three-line stanzas and a final quatrain. In this form the first and third lines of the first stanza repeat in the third line of alternating stanzas. In addition to form, we decided to write on the theme of things dormant or hidden.
It seems fitting that in writing a villanelle I have chosen to write about a French chateau, one that is revealing its hidden history in bits and pieces. You can read about the restoration project that inspired me at Chateau de Gudanes. You can also get updates and see new images on the Chateau's Facebook page.
Stone giant asleep on a hilltop plateau
weathered, alone but with secrets to share
once vibrant, now silent, an old French chateau
Throw open the doors, shout “Bonjour or Hello!”
tread lightly through hallways and onto the stair
of this giant asleep on a hilltop plateau
From the balcony survey the grounds dressed with snow
close your eyes, take deep breaths as you plan and prepare
to awaken the silent, once vibrant chateau
Crack plaster, pull timbers, find frescos below
search piles of rubble for treasures to spare
in this giant asleep on a hilltop plateau
Voltaire, Diderot and the likes of Rousseau
were greeted by footman and all who were there
in the once vibrant, now silent, old French chateau
Celebrate her revival with wine and gateau
grand labor of love and of endless repair
stone giant once sleeping upon a plateau
recalled back to life, this resplendent chateau
Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2015. All rights reserved.
You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below.
- Tanita Davis - Project Sunlight
- Kelly Fineman - Untitled Villanelle
- Sara Lewis Holmes - No Matter
- Laura Purdie Salas - Just a Rock
- Liz Garton Scanlon - The Boy King's Beard
- Andi Sibley - The Heat Is In the Seed
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass. Happy poetry Friday friends!