Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 15; Serendipity and a poet

[Depiction of Villon by Federico Cantu; image from Wikipedia; fair Use]

I was surfing the net just to spend one hour reading poetry, when I came across this interesting poem, which was poem of the day at Poemhunter on that day.

The Ballad Of The Proverbs - Poem by François Villon
So rough the goat will scratch, it cannot sleep.
So often goes the pot to the well that it breaks.
So long you heat iron, it will glow;
so heavily you hammer it, it shatters.
So good is the man as his praise;
so far he will go, and he's forgotten;
so bad he behaves, and he's despised.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.

So glib you talk, you end up in contradictions.
So good is your credit as the favors you got.
So much you promise that you will back out.
So doggedly you beg that your wish is granted;
so high climbs the price when you want a thing;
so much you want it that you pay the price;
so familiar it gets to you, you want it no more.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.

So, you love a dog. Then feed it!
So long a song will run that people learn it.
So long you keep the fruit, it will rot.
So hot the struggle for a spot that it is won;
so cool you keep your act that your spirit freezes;
so hurriedly you act that you run into bad luck;
so tight you embrace that your catch slips away.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.

So you scoff and laugh, and the fun is gone.
So you crave and spend, and lose your shirt.
So candid you are, no blow can be too low.
So good as a gift should a promise be.
So, if you love God, you obey the Church.
So, when you give much, you borrow much.
So, shifting winds turn to storm.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.

Prince, so long as a fool persists, he grows wiser;
so, round the world he goes, but return he will,
so humbled and beaten back into servility.
So loud you cry Christmas, it is here.

I clicked into more poems by this poet and read them.
François Villon was born in Paris in 1431 (the year that Joan of Arc was burned at the stake). One source gives the date as April 19, 1432 another as April 1, 1431. Villon's real name may have been François de Montcorbier or François des Loges: both of these names appear in official documents drawn up in Villon's lifetime.
From his poems we gather, that Villon was born in poverty and raised by a foster father, but that his mother was still living when her son was thirty years old. The surname "Villon," the poet tells us, is the name he adopted from his foster father, Guillaume de Villon. Villon became a student in arts, perhaps at about twelve years of age. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Paris in 1449 and a master's degree in 1452. Between this year and 1455, nothing is known of his activities.

OKAY SO MY CHALLENGE today is: read these three poems:
1. The Ballad Of The Proverbs - Poem by François Villon
2. Epitaph In The Form Of A Ballade - Poem by François Villon
3. The Ballad Of Villon And Fat Madge - Poem by François Villon

CHOOSE: one that you like and,
DISTIL: from one of them, a quote.
CONSTRUCT: based on your understanding or appreciation of the quote, a new poem, using any Poetry form you choose.
PLEASE: stay within 100 words.
SHARE: and add a link to the Villon poem you chose.
PREFACE: your newly written poem, with your quote and with credit given to François Villon
READ the poems of fellow poets in the linky.

Have Fun, its DAY FIFTEEN


  1. You have given us a lot to work with, Gillena. Thank you.

  2. I will not be home on Monday, so I have written two more parts of my set of 'battlefield' poems. The quotes were perfect. I will be back late on Tuesday, with Part IV.

  3. Thank you for your interest and participation Kerry. See you on Tuesday. Have a good weekend


  4. Wow, Gillena, that's a challenge and a half! I think I've stuck to the guidelines. I definitely kept within the 100 word limit - my poem has fewer than half of that. I have never come across this a poet. He is strangely intriguing in his subject matter and you have to read his poems several times to get the gist. I hope I've distilled the quote into a digestible poem!

  5. Thank you for participating Kim, going to read your poem


  6. Followed all the rules or so I thought - sigh. My poem is a few words over 100. Thanks for the challenge.

  7. Most challenging prompt, Gillena 💜 hopefully I did alright. Congratulations guys!! We made it halfway through NaPoWriMo!☕

  8. Okay Margaret, thanks for your response, read and enjoyed your poem today


  9. Can you believe it half-way there. Thank you for participating today Sanaa


  10. Happy Sunday dear Toads. A most intriguing prompt. I will be back later today as I am cooking at our church today for a monthly dinner for the homeless. we rotate among several churches to provide a daily meal to the community - seniors, children, homeless, hungry - for free. Thank you for this huge (grin) prompt Gillena!

  11. Hi Toni. Good job. I read your response.

    Blessed Sunday


  12. Oh, how I love Villon! (But hey, that's a very sanitised version of his biography, lol.) I am having computer probs, so will be a bit late writing, posting and reading, sorry.

  13. Thanks to everyone for your responses. Hope it was a lot of fun.



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