Old Stager: A Villanelle by Rodney Williams

old stager

a villanelle

This grand old stager, he filled many a part
as lead or as a cameo of note,
yet he never quite learnt his own script by heart.

Hungry for life outside his own, from the start
cosmetics gave masks, costumers a coat:
this grand old stager, he filled many a part.

When a pup he was seen as a vain upstart –
reviews he’d recite, not afraid to gloat,
yet he never quite learnt his own script by heart.

In living many lives, he lived one apart –
passionate in role but in truth remote:
this grand old stager, he filled many a part.

To be tolerated now, a frail old fart
well past his peak – some were happy to note –
he had never quite learnt his own script by heart.

In old age less clear on what was real or art –
years since playing lover merely by rote –
this grand old stager had filled many a part,
yet he never quite learnt his own script by heart.

Rodney Williams
Australia

First published in Five Bells Vol. 13 No. 1, Summer 2006, Sydney, NSW
Republished in In this dusty rear-view mirror: 55 poems,
Ginninderra Press, Port Adelaide, SA, 2015

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , by Miriam Sagan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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