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The Poetry Princess Project -- FEBRUARY
chaco
liz_scanlon

So, my pals and I started a year-long poetry project last month.
We kicked the whole thing off with triolets. They were hard.
And this month we said, "Villanelles!"

Here's what They Might Be Giants has to say about villanelles.
(To paraphrase, don't hate the villian, hate the villanelle.)

But really, they're not that bad.
They're actually kind of fun little puzzles.

Mine was inspired by this crazy story I read about King Tut's burial mask.
(To paraphrase, his beard broke off and they glued it back on with this really cheesy looking epoxy!)
But it also ended up being about the darkness -- or at least surprises -- hidden underneath some people's facades.

So, here goes....


The Boy King’s Beard

Upon a man, what’s regal as a beard?
Propriety and promise all in one.
We trust that things are just as they appear.

But what is underneath? It’s what we’ve feared –
the yellowed sheen of stories badly spun.
Upon a man, what’s regal as a beard?

Not much, until that gilded cloak’s been sheared
and now we’re left with everything he’s done.
We trusted things were as they’d once appeared.

And not just trusted – honored and revered.
The gold of all has chipped away to none.
Upon a man, what’s regal as a beard?

The truth unmasked, the cover disappeared!
No pharaoh here, a simple mother’s son.
We trusted things to be as they appeared --

a boy, a beard, these ancient myths we’ve reared,
from storied tombs that lie to everyone.
Upon a man, what’s regal as a beard?
The trust that what is true will reappear.

You like villanelles? Here are the amazing poems my poetry sisters crafted:

Sara
Tanita
Andi
Tricia
Kelly
Laura

And Poetry Friday today is at Elizabeth Steinglass' Blog.
Happy day, everyone.....


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We trusted things were as they’d once appeared.

And not just trusted – honored and revered.
The gold of all has chipped away to none.


I think those two lines sting every single time. It's such a travesty that they panic-glued that piece of the Tut back, instead of researching and carefully doing it -- just as sometimes it's additionally ill-conceived things which are hidden, and which come to light. Courage to all who face nasty surprises - we are all stronger than we think.

Your line: "the yellowed sheen of stories badly spun" gets me every time I read this! It perfectly conveys the ickiness of discovering deception....

You are genius for organizing this poetry fun, Liz. I have a whole YEAR of it to look forward to.

"But what is underneath? It’s what we’ve feared –
the yellowed sheen of stories badly spun."

I love this poem more every time I read it! Those are my today's favorite lines. Yes, exactly what I am afraid of myself! And then the last line -"The trust that what is true will reappear." saves the day. Bravo!

I love how this is exactly about King Tut's beard, and also about how people aren't always what they appear to be, without you necessarily meaning it to come out that way. Love it.

The first line in the last stanza is a terrific revision. I mentioned before that I love the two readings of this. My favorite line is also a sad one -- "The gold of all has chipped away to none." -- probably because I know what's coming. Or perhaps it's thinking about what happens when the gilding is removed and we're naked underneath.

Love this.

Zing. Trust and deception...and a beard badly glued. You can't make that stuff up, but you sure can make it into an amazing poem!

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