Depression Lullaby

I just discovered Poetry Thursday, which happens to be running a villanelle challenge. I tried to write a villanelle once, but gave it up; so this was my big chance.

See links to villanelles written by other participants in the comments on the Poetry Thursday link above.

Here's a good analysis of the villanelle form. And here are links to famous villanelles: Dylan Thomas's Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, and Elizabeth Bishop's One Art. I love them both, but I especially like Bishop's fearless use of slant rhymes, and her play with the form, without destroying it.

Okay, and here's mine. I'm afraid it's less villanelle than doggerelle, but I did work hard on it, and I'm not too displeased with it. It's dedicated to my husband:

Depression Lullaby

Take your little pills and go to sleep.
Let your darkness meet the darkness there.
I pray the night your frightened soul to keep.

Your fear's abode is oceans deep.
It's drowsing, tentacled, within its lair.
Take your little pills and go to sleep.

The path to quietude is steep
and long, sheep-counting, winding to nowhere.
I pray the night your frightened soul to keep.

The sandman scatters blessings in a sweep,
so leave behind your worry, your despair.
Take your little pills and go to sleep.

Be still now, no more need to weep:
Perhaps this time you'll stay forever where
I pray the night your frightened soul to keep.

So now I lay you down to sleep,
to dark and peace; no dream, no nighmare.
Take your little pills and go to sleep.
I pray the night your tired soul to keep.

7 comments:

Beaman said...

This is an incredible insight into the horrors of depression. It reads so very well and is emotionally powerful. Wonderful piece.

Tammy said...

This was so creative even without the form, which you did beautifully. This was tender and loving. Wow!

Dave said...

So interesting you thought of lullabies! That was my first choice for a villanelle this morning, but I didn't feel up to it. I like what you've done here.

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

An interesting take on a lullaby. It seems as if we could sing this verse to any adult nowadays and they could relate completely. Leaving us to wonder WHY the world has to be this complicated and sad.

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LavieQ said...

Loved that juxtaposition in the title - a lullaby for the depressed. And the poem does deliver to it and delivers it well.

gautami tripathy said...

The title is very good. This villanelle gives us a new perception on depression.