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The Poets

May 19, 2010

That We Die- Another Virelai Nouveau


That We Die

I always thought it strange we die
That we toward death do constant ply
That many million souls have fled
In dread before the Reaper's eye
And how it lingers just ahead
And is not far, but very nigh
I always thought it strange we die

Though mortal flesh I shall not sigh
Nor weep beneath this lovely sky
No, I shall ever grateful tread
Upon this earth and beauty spy
And never look to life in dread
For this is what I do defy
That we toward death must fearful ply

envoi

Still, these three things I can't deny
That one day we will all be dead
And that we toward this constant ply
And that it's very strange we die

-jwm



Of the Poem (Parameters and Side Note):

The previous post spoke of that antiquated French form of verse called a virelai nouveau. The above poem is another attempt at this form- a form that I must say is a delightful one to work with. I envision myself playing around with this pattern quite often. The parameters were explained there, but here they are again below:

Stanza: two septets and a conluding quatrain called an envoi
Meter: this form is usually done in tetrameter (i.e. four metric feet or eight syllables)
Rhyme Scheme
: below ...

1st stanza: A1.A2.b.a.b.a.A1
2nd stanza: a.a.b.a.b.a.A2
3rd stanza: a.b.A2.A1
Note: the capital letter 'A' in the rhyme scheme represents the poem's refrain

Side Note

I learned about death as a young boy learning to tie his shoes. My aunt, who was showing me how to lace them, advised me then that I should learn how to do this on my own because she "wouldn't be around forever."

Because I thought the statement strange she went on to explain the mortal aspect into which we were born. I certainly heard of death prior to this, but it wasn't until that moment that I understood death. I was terribly distraught, and remember feeling my fate to be unfair ... I thought it was strange that we die.

Now, as an adult, I've come to terms with death. Still, despite the fact that I believe in life after death, our having to die seems quite strange. Then again, from a slightly different perspective, our having lived at all is just as astonishing.

Enjoy the poem.

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As of April 9th, 2010