Ballade: Wide Awake in a Dream


“The issue is the origin,”
I said, “that, I already knew.”
Watchful, he flashed a charming grin,
“well, how would an answer help you?”
I asked again as if on cue
“Dear God of Sleep, if you so deem
I would still like the answer true,
am I wide awake in a dream?”

Nervous, I scratched at my taut skin
Too deep, blood spread in a rich hue
Mind lurching, the world in a spin
He responded, “Even a clue’s
Beyond comprehension for you.”
“Mystery’s where the monsters teem
Everything lives with fear laced through
Am I wide awake in a dream?”

“You think, you feel, submit to sin
You eat, you drink, each day renew
Presume perception as a twin.
Who told you that there are only two?
Perhaps you would care to review.”
“Clarity, however odd it may seem
Will not come without chance to view
Am I wide awake in a dream?”

“You feel alive, that is enough for you.”
“Answer!” with lively rage I scream
“As in sleep, you obscure my view
Am I wide awake in a dream?”


A ballade is a form of lyric poetry that originated in medieval France. Ballades follow a strict rhyme scheme (“ababbcbc”), and typically have three eight-line stanzas followed by a shorter four-line stanza called an envoi. The last line of each stanza—the refrain—is always the same.


Weekly Theme:

French Poetry Forms


12 thoughts on “Ballade: Wide Awake in a Dream

    1. Thank you, that is very kind of you to say. I’m learning and practicing everyday, which is why I’m experimenting with forms out of my comfort zone.
      I expect my masterclass will be scheduled some time in the 2030s 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

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