Time can say nothing but I told you so,

WH Auden wrote this poem. The title describes the rhyme scheme – so is this a poem written to convey meaning or feeling, or is it a poem written to illustrate the poet’s technique in this particular form? Well, everybody can make up their own mind, and I guess it depends whether you are more conscious of rhyme and structure, or the sense of the words themselves as you read it.

Here is a definition of the Villanelle form, found on Google:.
A villanelle (also known as villanesque) is a nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain. There are two refrains and two repeating rhymes, with the first and third line of the first tercet repeated alternately until the last stanza, which includes both repeated lines.

 

 
Villanelle
Time can say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you, I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time can say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you, I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time can say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you, I would let you know.

Suppose the lions all get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away?
Time can say nothing but I told you so.
If I could tell you, I would let you know.

 
WH Auden

From <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/villanelle-3/&gt;

 

I think the clue is in the title…

The Poetry Dude

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