Today’s prompt comes from a poem by Kyle Dargan, called “Diaspora: A Narcolepsy Hymn.” This poem is inspired by the work of others – in this case, the poet Morgan Parker, and lyrics from songs by Beyoncé and The Notorious B.I.G. The poem also partakes of one of the most difficult poetic forms, the villanelle. The classic villanelle has five three-line stanzas followed by a final, four-line stanza. The first and third lines of the first stanza alternately repeat as the last lines of the following three-line stanzas, before being used as the last two lines of the final quatrain. And to make it an even more virtuoso performance, Dargan’s alternating lines, besides being taken from songs, express “opposing” ideas, with one being about sleeping, and the other waking.

Following Dargan’s lead, today we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. If you can use two elements, great – and if you can do all three, wow!

I finally managed to use all three!

It’s a villanelle using lines “make it work, get it right, change the world overnight” from a song by Big Time Rush, that’s my kids’ favourite (I hear them humming it all the time, so it was a natural choice) and the contrasting thoughts of “Will I get swayed with the winds of time” and “I can do it again, I can change the paradigm” in the first and third line of first stanza.

The tumultuous voices


Will I get swayed with the winds of time?

But didn’t I surmise that before last win too

So I can do it again, I can change the paradigm




I often contemplate “Why life is so labyrinthine?”

Is it my own doing or is this His design

Will I get swayed with the winds of time?




But isn’t this maze the source of my resilience

Haven’t these challenges abetted to realign

So I can do it again, I can change the paradigm




But what about my blemishes, my penitence over decline

Should I flow as a placid river or look for sunshine

Will I get swayed with the winds of time?




Why this oscillation? Why conflict and reservation?

It’s the only life I’ve got, how can I whine or resign?

So I can do it again, I can change the paradigm




If I wish to “make it work, get it right”

“Change the world overnight”, then I cannot ponder

Will I get swayed with the winds of time

I know I can do it again, I can change the paradigm

                                                                                                         ©Vandana Bhasin
                                         05.04.2019