Jingoism – Villanelle

I am playing around with different verse format. This time a Villanelle, I choose to write it in tetrameter. It is based on a prompt on twitter called liblit. and it was “a doll, and bonus word is Jingoism – “extreme patriotism”. Personally I find that very dangerous and there is usually a master behind that stand to gain from “patriotism”.
Picture is Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s famous sculpture on non-violence. Many copies exist, but this one is from Malmö Sweden. Picture is taken from Wikimedia commons.

a puppet master has control
the marching dolls they just obey
in jingoistic glory stroll

the masses they have lost their soul
and they will never walk astray
a puppet master has control

the patriots are screaming: “troll”
and herd the actors in the play
in jingoistic glory stroll

the leader people can cajole
and also violence display
a puppet master has control

a neighbor take as threat his role
and people want the culprit flay
“we look for someone we can flay”
in jingoistic glory stroll

“now WAR declare it is our goal
so kill and burn without delay”

a puppet master has control
in jingoistic glory stroll

October 31, 2012

11 responses to “Jingoism – Villanelle

  1. you might want to use “the puppet master has control” or “the puppet masters have control”

    I like the form, and the content of the poem. Nicely done.

  2. This is powerful, and a great way to use the villanelle form (I have not attempted this form often, and never to my liking.) Great job! The one disruption of the flow (not metrically, just grammatically) is the use of “flay”, but that is a small matter 🙂

  3. Very interesting. More serious than your usual work, I see. This reminds me very much of the days–still here, I’m afraid, but also those long past…. The posters of the leader, or dictator everywhere. The loudspeakers barking away at all hours. This kind of writing gives me nightmares, (even when its me that does it.) but that means it’s good writing, and it works well.)

    Regarding some of the “tweaking” suggestions, I believe I like your solution. Improving scansion is one thing but altering ones genuine sound is another. I personally like what you describe as your “swinglish,” because it sets you apart from other poets. As you know, I am hardly satisfied with any result I achieve myself. I tend to engage in acts of “lucasing” over time, until I am happy with the result. So even after posting, you will often notice, I’m sure, that I tend to change a word or two.

    Your subject matter brings to mind that the US has always been much different, I think, than this. Our brand of patriotism, even when rather extreme, has almost exclusively been regarding a love of freedom, and a fear of its disappearance. This is what I’ve felt, myself, and this is what my sweetheart has felt also since coming here permanently.

    Our current administration causes us, for some reason, to differ from this in some ways. This, by the way, is not a political observation. One can debate a left or a right-leaning policy, and, whatever our position, and regardless of whether, in the long run, such policies turn out to be ill advised, such things can be weathered, as the country has weathered, I think, far worse things prior to the last handful of administrations here.

    Strangely, what concerns me is not at all political. It is the pictures. There are images of our current president everywhere. Large, small, and in between. Very unusual for this country. Very reminiscent of dictatorships we have seen around the world. Like the man, or not; agree with his ideas or not; this is what concerns me. And it concerns those of my friends who come from other countries. And I should say they do vary greatly in politics.

    One friend describes it as a personality cult; and whereas I would perhaps not go that far, still this is most unusual. This did happen once before in the country to some degree, Some of us loved FDR, some didn’t, but most of us, were spooked by the personality phenomenon. The more we thought about it, the more spooked we were; which is why we were able to easily pass a term limit amendment for the President here. Two four-year terms, but not more than 10 years, in the case of a succession. President Ford, for example had two and a half years into his succession, had he won his first presidential election, which he did not, he would not have been able to run again.

    • Thank you, personality cult is always a dangerous way to run politics. Jingoism as a word scared me so much, and I wrote a little twitter tetra meter on it. Then expanded it into a Villanelle, tetrameter can sound like marching feet and that with repetition gave me the poem. It’s one of very few of my poems were I had to find the picture after I wrote the poem instead of the other way around.

      Thank you for your comment and reblogging. I have done other Villanelle that avoid the sound of marching feet.


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