“Inspired by Maya Angelou” (a villanelle by Paul Burgess)

“Inspired by Maya Angelou” (a villanelle by Paul Burgess)
(In 2006, after reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, I composed this villanelle for a class. Since it is as cheesy as the most sentimental of greeting cards, I had not planned to share it with anyone. But, since Angelou has passed, I will post it in memory of her. [As with many poems I wrote in college, the meter is a bit irregular])

The Poem:

Suffering heavy heart and wing,
Wind forcing flight close to the ground,
This bird will never cease to sing.

To my song, I’ll always cling,
Though I may appear nearly downed,
Suffering heavy heart and wing.

No man, whether peasant or king,
Will ever silence my bold sound.
This bird will never cease to sing.

My voice will vibrantly ring,
If I am shackled and earthbound,
Suffering heavy heart and wing.

Whatever fickle Fate may bring,
Be it murky marsh or sparkling spring,
This bird will never cease to sing.

Though one day thorns of age will sting,
And my green soul will become browned,
Suffering heavy heart and wing,
This bird will never cease to sing.

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