Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Linda Sue Park - Villanelle: Why I Love Libraries

Villanelle: Why I Love Libraries
Linda Sue Park

I lose myself within the book-walled maze,
with no end to the promises in sight,
through passages to many worlds and ways.

The aisles meander pleasantly. A craze
of unread pages beckons, tempts, invites;
I lose myself. Within the book-walled maze

a googolplex of lexical arrays
for exploration flanks me left and right.
True passages to many; worlds and ways

that lead to corners sharp with turns of phrase,
and tales both commonplace and recondite
to lose myself within. The book-walled maze

reveals its pleasures slowly, but repays
the debt of time in thousandfold delight—
through passages to many worlds, in ways

mapped out by words. A sudden blink of light:
It's checkout time—they’re closing for the night.
I'd lost myself within the book-walled maze,
through passages to many worlds and ways.

©2009 Linda Sue Park. All rights reserved.

Linda Sue Park writes poems, picture books and novels, and won the Newbery Medal in 2002 for A Single Shard. She's also written wonderful stuff on her blog, and I've referred countless people there just to read her thoughts on "voice." And she doesn't know this, but it was a big day for me a couple years back when she visited GottaBook and let me know that she liked and was writing Fibs! Yes, I'm writer star-struck (and it's been a big month for that, lemme tell you!), and that was indeed a good day.

To me, her villanelle above simply falls in the category of "holy smokes!" Like Joyce Sidman's pantoum and Marilyn Singer's triolet and Avis Harley's acrostic, this is an example of taking a form and using it rather than being constrained by it. My official poetry tester here at home read this poem and said simply, "that's amazing." I concur, and I'm exceedingly happy to have it here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, we celebrated SPRING with Lee Bennett Hopkins. Tomorrow, Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman's I Dreamt I Saw a Dinosaur!


Rita said...

Wow, wow, WOW. I am a total Linda Sue Park fan (her books, her blog, her thoughts on writing, her reading recommendations), and this poem . . . WOW!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

This is great! I love that form and she did it justice. Thanks for this post.

||| laura frantz ||| said...

Love it.

jama said...

What a fabulous poem -- and just perfect for National Library Week!! Thanks so much for posting it!

Anonymous said...

Wowza, Linda - that is one fine villanelle!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Okay, I'm not being hugely original with this comment, but "WOW."

It's incredible how many different ways Linda was able to make the passages, worlds, ways lines.


Thanks so much to Linda and to you, Greg, for sharing this with us!


Anonymous said...

I love both villanelles and libraries--shall be savoring this poem for quite some time to come! It is so difficult to play around with the repeated lines in order to keep them fresh and interesting, and Ms. Park's lines are a maze to enjoy as much as the shelves she describes. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I love both libraries and villanelles, so this is a poem to savor! It's so difficult to keep the repeated lines fresh and interesting in such a constricted form, but Ms. Park's lines are as fun to lose oneself in as the shelves she describes. Thanks!

tanita✿davis said...

*sigh* I tried this form once and it just didn't go at ALL like this. Linda Sue Park rocks.

Ivonne Roberts said...

I love your blog! We open it daily with my students at school to thoroughly enjoy the delightful poems.
I was very pleased to read a comment you dropped in my blog last week, specially as it was the first comment to have been written in it! Thank you so much.

Greg Pincus said...

As if one wasn't enough, Linda Sue Park has another villanelle up on her blog today right here.

And her post links right back here so you can alternate blogs just like villanelle's alternate lines! Or something like that....

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

I linked to this - thanks Greg!