Poetry Response - Villanelle

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While reading the poem, “The Story We Know”, I was very confused as to the meaning. This poem, like many before it, required me to read it quite a few times before I got the gist of it. I think the main problem I have with it is the villanelle style. I think the structure of this type of poem is over confusing and made difficult on purpose just so a poet can say, “Oh yeah, I wrote some villanelles”. It is not so much that I don't like them, it is just that they are hard to comprehend. Poetry, on the whole, is confusing but add a villanelle in and you feel as though your head is going to explode. But I digress, I believe this poem is about the “average” person going through life. People do not want to be put in awkward situations that pull them from their comfort zone. They enjoy asking the same meaningless questions (hello, how was your day, kid alright?) and answering the questions the same each time (hello to you, great yours, just fine). Someone asks you out to eat and you make up an excuse as to why you cannot when you know for sure that you are free. This is just our human nature trying to protect us from being hurt. The end of this poem is the most poignant part of the whole piece. It uses the winter and snow falling to symbolize the end of life. Then it says that “goodbye” is the only story we know. This makes a lot of sense. People can not understand wanting to put themselves into an embarrassing situation but they can understand the death of opportunity. The death of someone you did not know. The death of a life you never lived. That they can understand. But they cannot understand anything in between the hello and good

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