Four O’Clock Light

Introductory Note: This is my first published poem. Though I usually write my poems in free verse, I decided to try writing something more formal. While reading a book about literature, I came across a French verse form called a villanelle. It employs a complex and somewhat artificial form of 19 lines to create an impression of seemingly effortless simplicity and lightness. I was intrigued by the fact that it was the same form used by Dylan Thomas in his powerful poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” which conveys a message that is anything but simple or light. I also found that writing a villanelle is not nearly as effortless as Dylan Thomas makes it appear. Anyway, here is my poem, which explores both my childhood fascination with Norse myths as well as that certain quality of light one sometimes sees while wandering through cemeteries and ancient stone ruins.

Four O’Clock Light

In the four o’clock light of a fall afternoon
The realm of reason gives way to wonder.
The vision of old is gone too soon.

Stone lichens read like an ancient rune
Of Odin casting my thoughts asunder
In the four o’clock light of a fall afternoon.
Do I dare emerge from my sane cocoon
To mine the ruins of a mythic world under
In the four o’clock light of a fall afternoon?

Is it Loki who tricks my spirit to swoon
And feeds this phantasmagoric hunger?
The vision of old is gone too soon.

I wish to ride in Mani’s chariot moon
And wield the mighty hammer of thunder.
The vision of old is gone too soon.

For an instant the solid rock is hewn
As the inner child is freed to wander
In the four o’clock light of a fall afternoon.
The vision of old is gone too soon.                                                                                         © Gene Twaronite 2012

Originally published in the online journal Eternal Haunted Summer, Winter Solstice 2012 issue    http://eternalhauntedsummer.com/issues/winter-solstice-2012/four-oclock-light/

 

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