This was the first poem I officially wrote for academic purposes. It’s a villanelle, which is probably my most favorite form of poetry. It’s lyrical and just as you get used to a pattern it switches on you. I’ve written a couple since then. This one is based on an experience I had celebrating a Passover Seder the summer of 2007. It was presided over by a Messianic Rabbi. The whole thing, taught through the perspective of Christ fulfilling the prophecy was beautiful to me. And I can still feel the sting of the horseradish when I remember it.
The first time I tasted hope
I sensed a trick in the early sweetness. I was
Confronted with a shocking new view of scope.
It was an ancient dinner, today, now more a trope.
Illusions to a higher being, dust clad and present
the first time I tasted hope.
The weary celebration, reminder of the time they coped
The burn of water laced with salt, inhaled, poured out;
confronted with a new understanding of scope.
Matza and horseradish, a Lamb bone
tied with rope, the bitter herb and salt water,
tie me to the story of the first time I tasted hope.
The crack and sick-sweet smell
of the bread we broke, I cried, for now I
understood… confronted, the old understanding of the scope.
My heart gave chase, tried to capture,
to hold close, the bitter honey, the old story of love,
the first time I tasted hope and suddenly was
confronted with a broader view of scope.
Make sure to stop by tomorrow for The Handmaid’s Tale Pt. 2. In which I discuss what I learned from Ms. Atwood’s writing prowess.