Poetic Forms: Villanelle

(Okay, I’m going to try posting this again. Apparently, this blog is anti-villanelle.)

So, the French form I had not covered yet was not the rondeau, but the villanelle. Oh well. We got a nice rondeau refresher earlier this week. (Check it out here.)

The villanelle, like the other French forms, does have many of the same properties: plenty of rhyme and repetition. This French form was actually adapted from Italian folk songs (villanella) about rural life. One of the more famous contemporary villanelles is “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” by Dylan Thomas.

The villanelle consists of five tercets and a quatrain with line lengths of 8-10 syllables. The first and third lines of the first stanza become refrains that repeat throughout the poem. It looks like this:

A(1)
b
A(2)

a
b
A(1)

a
b
A(2)

a
b
A(1)

a
b
A(2)

a
b
A(1)
A(2)

Here’s an example that I wrote:

Paralegal

Lawyers are not paid to be nice;
they’re expected to always win.
She can say it once, say it twice,

“If you want to take their advice,
you should know before you begin:
Lawyers are not paid to be nice.”

They have their sin; they have their vice–
some with drink, others with women.
She can say it once, say it twice,

because she’s seen every slice–
including both women and men–
“Lawyers are not paid to be nice.”

But if you have suffered malice
and do not want to lose again,
she can say it once, say it twice,

“If you want to win, pay the price;
let the legal process begin.”
Lawyers are not paid to be nice;
she can say it once, say it twice.

*****

Check out the Wikipedia entry for villanelle by clicking here.

Check out the Poets.org entry for villanelle by clicking here.

*****

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43 thoughts on “Poetic Forms: Villanelle

  1. Paris Elizabeth Sea

    Reposting this one.

    Regret: a villanelle

    How easily I’ve won her toddler’s trust
    Infectious smiles between us strangers, three
    Where we can do good, we must

    Her mother’s frazzled nerves are clearly bust
    She asks a favour sensing I’ll agree
    How easily I’ve won her toddler’s trust

    Can I watch her, for a moment, just?
    (There’s something in the car, forgotten, see)
    Where we can do good, we must

    I am a woman with a heart of gold, not rust
    The child is safe as long as she’s with me
    How easily I’ve won her toddler’s trust

    I am a kite, and she a winsome gust
    My spirits lift, the moments adding free
    Where we can do good, we must

    And now an hour’s gone and bit the dust
    Still, the mother’s not returned to me
    How easily I’ve won her toddler’s trust
    Where we can do good, we must?

    1. reyvrex

      Do Not Get So Rough On The Buds Of May

      Do not get so rough on the buds of May,
      Slight drizzles only for unopened blooms,
      They may take the rains, when they could someday;

      No longer just sprouts, yet not to array
      As the full flowers, some wrongly presumes,
      Do not get so rough on the buds of May;

      Do gently part their boughs, to show someway,
      What so fine beauties nature sweetly grooms,
      They may take the rains, when they could someday;

      Like babies that cry when taken away,
      Buds are such newborns, barely out of wombs,
      Do not get so rough on the buds of May;

      Have foresight, brother, delineate that day,
      Look far ahead before the picture looms,
      They may take the rains when they could someday;

      For soon they will be flowers that display,
      That would bare their charms, exude their perfumes,
      Do not get so rough on these buds of May,
      They may take the rains when they could someday.

  2. Kelly Ellis

    Traveling Light

    I gave it away, my easy virtue
    and all those boys that I said No to
    blazoned my name on a bathroom wall.

    I gave it away, my picket fence dream
    I always had these ferrel leanings
    scrawl my name on a hay-loft wall.

    I gave it away, old time religion
    I now hobnob with druids and heathen
    who rune my name on a labyrinth wall.

    I gave it away, my bread and butter—
    took to the woods with my wayward lover,
    dreamed my name on a crumbling wall.

    Will I miss what I deeded over?
    I float this river like a gypsy rover.
    I gave it away—
    my name, that wall.

  3. Ivy Merwine

    My words won’t jumble into this ill fitted dress.
    It doesn’t feel natural.
    I can’t conform to it this time.
    It will have to conform to me.

  4. annie mcwilliams

    WHEAT FLOUR SALT SUGAR EGG BUTTER AND YEAST

    The story of bread is the story of wheat
    Food traditions live long and die slowly it seems
    Wheat flour salt sugar egg butter and yeast

    Grass was born, like man, in Earth’s Fertile Seat
    Add flour and knead the dough ’till it’s sweet
    The story of bread is the story of wheat

    Uniform flour is sifted not beat
    Anodized baking pans evenly heat
    Wheat flour salt sugar egg butter and yeast

    Use a rock and roll motion to knead and repeat
    Punch down and fold edges to center, preheat
    The story of bread is the story of wheat

    Rise dough free of draft while covered with grease
    Bread risen too long is crumbly to eat
    Wheat flour salt sugar egg butter and yeast

    A good tender crust on a loaf is a treat
    Warm homemade bread makes all meals complete
    The story of bread is the story of wheat
    Wheat flour salt sugar egg butter and yeast

    1. reyvrex

      Villanelle#1: “She Thinks Of Me I Swear”

      She thinks of me, I swear
      As that she would have done
      Now that Summer is near

      Her note has made it clear
      That I am still the one
      She thinks of me, I swear

      It is almost a year
      Since when those days were gone
      Now that Summer is near

      But memories so dear
      Can cling to times bygone
      She thinks of me, I swear

      A short waiting to bear
      To lie soon in the sun
      Now that Summer is near

      A little more to bear
      And life will have begun
      She thinks of me, I swear
      Now that Summer is near.

  5. jane penland hoover

    Embedded Heat

    My heart longs once more to endure desire,
    trembling sensuous sensation, sweet
    mounting rhythms roar, burning wild, like fire.

    Delicious sense, the sticky maple, we conspire,
    eat loaded stack at IHOP, in our seat.
    My heart longs once more to endure. Desire

    drives us around the base, Stone Mountain’s spire,
    where he asked and I nodded yes. Then sleet
    mounting, white rhythms beat and roar, wild like fire.

    Cold mess of frozen limbs and tongues grows dire
    with loss. We stumble on — amazing feat.
    My heart longs once more to endure desire.

    With steel promises we shield our empire,
    from ills marauding to undo complete.
    Mounting rhythms roar, burning wild like fire.

    Now, latent embers, we excite to inspire
    each others mischief. Wistful smiles replete,
    my heart longs once more to endure desire,
    mount the rhythms roar; burn bright, like wild fire.

  6. Therese Haberman

    Down on the Farm

    by Therese Haberman

    Birds are the start of my busy day.
    Singing in euphonic delight.
    Twittering to me in every which way.

    To fly like a bird someday I may.
    How magical to be in flight.
    Birds are the start of my busy day.

    Yellow caps and feathers that sway.
    Sweetly tweet at dawn’s first light.
    Twittering to me in every which way.

    Tulips beckon in colors gay.
    Splendorous aroma is my respite.
    Birds are the start of my busy day.

    Sun climbs over the bales of hay.
    Robins perch on pickets so white.
    Twittering to me in every which way.

    Farmers cackle going on their way.
    Summer fills my soul with light.
    Birds are the start of my busy day.

  7. Cheryl Lynn Moyer

    Prompt 20 – Villanelle

    But Johnny cannot learn, they warned me so,
    He falls further and further behind the daily goals;
    Because of his genes, his mind is slow.

    As his teacher, each day many seeds I sow,
    Repeat, repeat; can they sink in where they go?
    But Johnny cannot learn, they warned me so.

    Bright children, they dream and they quickly grow.
    Their thoughts fly ahead in effortless play,
    Because of his genes, his mind is slow.

    Johnny stays behind, one more lesson to know.
    He clings to each new memory with abiding joy,
    But Johnny cannot learn, they warned me so.

    Each tally he completes in a deliberate row.
    Careful and cautious, now confident and right,
    Because his genes, his mind is slow.

    Beware of running and losing the race
    So far ahead, that you linger to play.
    Johnny walks slowly, focused to win.
    But Johnny cannot learn, they warned me so,
    Because his of genes, his mind is slow.

  8. Diane

    Thanks, Robert, for the instruction on the villanelle. It was fun to try. Here is one I posted for day 24:

    Autumn Flight

    They glide upon the gentle autumn breeze;
    glorious Monarchs soar in graceful flight.
    Like leaves, they fall to rest upon the trees.

    With wings of black and earthen toned cerise,
    descending now to shelter for the night.
    They glide upon the gentle autumn breeze

    among the trees to find protected lees.
    Weary from their migratory flight,
    like leaves, they fall to rest upon the trees.

    Drifting to a tree, the twigs they seize
    with only spindly legs for grasping tight.
    They glide upon the gentle autumn breeze.

    If in the fading light you’re watching these,
    their graceful beauty will give you delight.
    Like leaves they fall–to rest upon the trees.

    An evening only–they adorn the trees,
    and then arise to leave with morning light–
    to glide upon the gentle autumn breeze
    like leaves. They’ll fall to rest on other trees.

  9. Beverly Zeimer

    Whatever Comes, Come What May

    Forget about your guy for the day.
    You can walk without him on the beach,
    Whatever comes let come what may.

    And if you have words you want to say,
    And you have written them in the sand,
    Forget about your guy for the day.

    He knows the time, he knows the way,
    And sometimes tarries at wine, or women.
    Whatever comes let come what may.

    Because you know what wise men say,
    How only a fool would have rushed in.
    Forget about your guy for the day.

    The words you thought you wanted to say,
    Will be folly for the lake’s cool tide.
    Whatever comes let come what may.

    And if another’s smile comes your way,
    Let the words to your guy go in the breeze.
    Forget about your guy for the day.
    Whatever comes let come what may.

  10. Carrie Ann Eggert

    TATTERED AND GONE

    Is that part of me really gone,
    no longer there for me to see;
    tattered away like old chiffon?

    Were I a hunter like old Chiron
    I could look to find the old me.
    Is that part of me really gone?

    I saw it one morning at dawn
    peeking from behind the wild sea,
    tattered away like old chiffon.

    Oh, what changes I have undergone,
    so many that I had to flee.
    Is that part of me really gone?

    It used to be I was withdrawn,
    flighty of thought and fancy-free;
    tattered away like old chiffon.

    Perhaps I am too overdrawn
    to be who I was meant to be.
    Is that part of me really gone,
    tattered away like old chiffon?

  11. Shirley T.

    Why not, just for the heck of it!

    Freed Spirit

    Shout Halleujah! I am born again.
    I am mint new, washed clean as a new day,
    Ready for my place in the world of men.

    Now when I speak you will listen, my friend,
    have no intention of going away,
    Shout Halleujah! I am born again.

    I’m set and ready, so pick up your pen
    and take notes. I’m ready to have my say,
    Ready for my place in the world of men.

    Don’t bother asking me the where or when,
    I’ll tell you, it’s going to be today!
    Shout Halleujah! I am born again.

    This is feisty me. I’m no Gentle Ben.
    Held back too long, I’m ready to hold sway,
    Ready for my place in the world of men

    I found my power and achieved my zen,
    Shout Halleujah! I am born again,
    Ready for my place in the world of men.
    ####

  12. Anders Bylund

    I wrote a (bad) villanelle about semiconductor companies last year, for work and all (can’t believe my editors let me get away with this stuff every April):
    http://www.fool.com/investing/value/2007/04/20/amds-prosodic-conundrum.aspx

    Way happier with the one I wrote for day 6 of this year’s challenge. Repost time!

    Forks In the Road

    I pick a path and hope my choice is smart.
    When storms rage all around, it’s never clear:
    "Go down the road your head wants — or your heart?"

    Spring; the choices seem so far apart.
    Go one way: hard to say. The other? Engineer.
    I pick a path and hope my choice is smart.

    Summer; I might as well have thrown a dart
    at life’s big wheel — no whammies now, you hear?
    Go down the road your head wants — or your heart?

    Fall; at last, my hands creating art!
    Is it too late to branch to other spheres?
    I pick a path and hope my choice is smart.

    Winter; far I’ve come since that false start.
    Just ask and this advice I’ll volunteer:
    "Go down the road your head wants — or your heart."

    No right. No wrong. No telling how you’ll part.
    Too late to ask what’s down that other pier!
    So pick a path — I’m sure your choice is smart,
    Go down the road your head wants … or your heart.

  13. Lorna Cahall

    Plastic Flowers

    The orchids still yellow,
    Forever bright n’ young.
    They say it is shallow,
    And better dull sallow,
    Than fake flowers for fun.
    The orchids still yellow,
    A gift from my fellow,
    That last handsome one.
    They say it is shallow
    To sing long and bellow
    When love’s lost and done.
    The orchids still yellow
    I make a villanello,
    The sad bells have rung.
    They say it is shallow,
    Through streets too narrow,
    To sob at a throng.
    The orchids still yellow.
    They say it is shallow.

  14. LKHarris-Kolp

    BABIES

    Babies are so cute and cuddly.
    I love the sweet smell of their skin.
    A blessing are babes, don’t you see?

    Their eyes look at you so innocently,
    as if they can see deep within.
    Babies are so cute and cuddly.

    Eat, sleep and poop babes do repeatedly,
    then cry and cry again and again.
    A blessing are babes, don’t you see?

    To be held and loved is their only plea.
    Entering into this world without sin.
    Babies are so cute and cuddly.

    I am grateful to have had three,
    and if I could, I’d get pregnant again;
    a blessing are babes, don’t you see?

    Cherish all babies deeply;
    for they come to us freely, no trade in.
    Babies are so cute and cuddly.
    A blessing are babes, don’t you see?

    Laurie K.

  15. Othello Gooden Jr,

    Laura
    Othello Gooden Jr.

    Because of the girl inside
    She sits alone and continues to cry
    She cannot live out her dream
    Deep within she thinks she’s the queen
    But that’s just not right

    A misguided youth with a tore up mind
    Everyone seems to ignore her Jekyll ‘n’ Hyde
    She might as well not sleep
    She hates how she must make huge leaps
    Because of the girl inside

    My, oh my! All she does is hide!
    Within the university’s dorm high-rise
    She gets help but it’s temporary
    She says it’s beneath her, she’s very haughty
    Because of the girl inside

  16. Tucker Snider

    Dissemble No More!

    Plenty of people expect you to fake it;
    be shallow in deed but active in motion.
    They’ll applaud the false act simply to make it.

    Of honor; we’re offered the price to break it.
    Dignity’s considered old fashioned notion.
    Plenty of people expect you to fake it.

    Nature says where there’s a thirst we’re to slake it.
    Hold fast the truth-thirst when in a brine ocean.
    They’ll applaud the false act simply to make it.

    Who hides behind airs should have to stand naked.
    With your thirst and your pride, the clothes you can shun.
    Plenty of people expect you to fake it.

    Given a chance, with a bridge to burn? Take it!
    Truth-fire likes fuel, be it driftwood or mansion.
    They’ll applaud the false act simply to make it.

    Standing for something’s a claim you take; stake it.
    Tread boldly where others step with caution.
    Plenty of people expect you to fake it.
    They’ll applaud the false act simply to make it.

    – Tucker Snider

  17. Taylor Graham

    BLACK COUNTRY COAL, 1868

    This whole town’s built on under-tunneled ground
    where coal pays wages. Here’s the collier’s door –
    it sinks so gently, you don’t hear a sound.

    Beneath, they dig with pick; with sledge they pound
    a way toward deeper-buried seams: black ore.
    This whole town’s built on under-tunneled ground

    where roofs subsiding lower than the street astound.
    The steeple’s lost another inch or more;
    it sinks so gently, you don’t hear a sound.

    Through passages by torchlight, ironbound,
    the miners delve toward hell, or planet’s core.
    This whole town’s built on under-tunneled ground

    that can not hold. The greening hills surround,
    but roots can’t stay the tide. An evermore
    that sinks so gently, you don’t hear a sound,

    but feel the heave of earth, a sigh profound
    as some Greek tragedy of ancient lore.
    The whole town’s built on under-tunneled ground
    and sinks so gently, you don’t hear a sound.

  18. Sharon Ann

    Dramatic Lament

    My dear, say it just is not so.
    First you tell me that you will stay.
    Then you break away and you go.

    Would it be too much for you to show
    an emotion that meets with the day?
    My dear, say it just is not so.

    What can you expect me to know
    when there’s something you just can not say?
    Then you break away and you go.

    Where is the love, where is the glow?
    All our feelings are in such disarray.
    My dear, say it just is not so.

    I take these things to heart, move to and fro.
    I would rather that we enjoy the sun in May.
    Then you break away and you go.

    I can’t go on with this whole show.
    I can’t do this for another day.
    My dear, just say it is not so.
    Then you break away and you go.

  19. Nixy di Stefano

    Bite

    I’m sorry that I like to bite.
    The mark on your side is so blue
    Call it abuse, you just might.

    I’m a girl, though, and I have a right
    To not be beaten; to do what I must do.
    I’m not taken; I put up a fight.

    I remember when I first had you in my sight,
    And my sight was much in you,
    You came over to see what might

    Happen, it did, as things may and might
    Be wrong or right, I can’t forget you,
    Or forgive you in this endless fight.

    I can’t understand how this can be right,
    And, still, I know what I must do,
    To you, I must no longer fight or bite,
    From you, I have to take flight.

  20. Julieann S Powell

    I had never tried this type of poem before. It is interesting. I like it. Thank you.

    Family Reunion

    Old fashioned picnic on the ground
    Pot roasts, B-B-Q beef, and beef stew
    More food every time you turn around

    Children laughing, playing, a pleasant sound
    Down by the lake, wishing for a canoe
    Old fashioned picnic on the ground

    Cakes and pies and cookies abound
    You and you and you brought desert too
    More food every time you turn around

    Veggies galore, some potatoes in a mound
    Sauces and gravies to top all the goo
    Old fashioned picnic on the ground

    There’s more than enough to go ‘round
    Loosen the belt, someone brought fondue
    More food every time you turn around

    Laughter, talking, some playing the clown
    It’s too early; still, to bid a fond adieu
    Old fashioned picnic on the ground
    More food every time you turn around

  21. Liz

    Moth Wings
    (Written in response to Gregory Grenon’s painting, "Moth Girl.")

    Over the din of soaps on television
    you play arpeggios in B minor flat,
    hiding behind you two ragged moth wings.

    You tap out A Few of My Favorite Things
    Granny screams, "stop that horrible racket.
    I can’t hear what’s happening on television."

    Somewhere Over the Rainbow, you sing.
    Granny shouts, "Ed’s on. Shut up. Be quiet."
    You stop, but shake dust from the holes in your wings.

    On the bench, you sit silent. Your young legs swing.
    "Cat got your tongue again?" Granny spits out,
    bored with her game show on television.

    You pound out Solace – your favorite Scott Joplin.
    Granny sneers, "your friend plays better than that."
    You glide over the keys and pulse your small wings.

    You know some of your notes are wrong
    but you climb up Ave Maria’s crest,
    and above the din of news on television,
    you flutter away on your tattered moth wings.

    (Also posted for April 20 NaPoWriMo)

  22. Bill Stewart

    Lavender Linens

    Not a color, not a print. A scent;
    the flowers were dried all last week
    in the August sun and the heat it sent.

    I can barely wait to feel them make a tent,
    where the fabric will form a subtle peak,
    not a color, not a print. A scent.

    The summer has gone, how quickly it went;
    it leaves me thankful, glad and meek;
    in the August sun and the heat it sent;

    The light is still bright but a little bent;
    but there are still summer joys to seek,
    not a color, not a print. A scent.

    Whether they are new or whether they were lent,
    and though my bones may ache and creak
    in the August sun and the heat it sent

    I would gladly relinquish my very last cent
    and withstand all the havoc life might wreak,
    not a color, not a print. A scent
    in the August sun and the heat it sent.

  23. Sheryl Kay Oder

    I can’t believe I thought this was today’s prompt. My only excuse is I was in a hurry and wanted to start thinking about this before I left home. Not ony that, but last year one of the prompts was a form. Oh, well it was a fun challenge for me. It may turn out to be a bit singsongy, and I realized one stanza had the rhymes reversed at first, but I did it, and I had fun, so I consider it a success.

    Years ago I noticed some birds trying to fly in formation, it seemed. However, they chose not to continue in flight. They kept flying back and forth, unsure of where to go. They would go from one section of grass to another, then take off again. At times they would seem to be meeting in committee, eat some, and take off again. They were a disorganized bunch who seemed to need a flight director of choreographer. I chose those birds as the subject of my light-hearted villanelle.

    The Irregulars

    Where was their director of flight
    that morning in Jefferson Park?
    The birds wondered where to alight.

    Formations were not very tight;
    they flew on a whim or a lark.
    Where was their director of flight?

    Should they go to the left or the right?
    Were they on or off of the mark?
    The birds wondered where to alight.

    Their committees met on more than one site.
    They pondered, but were still in the dark.
    Where was their director of flight?

    Always keeping each other in sight
    they landed somewhere in the park.
    The birds wondered where to alight.

    They ate while considering their plight,
    needing leadership before it was dark
    Where was their director of flight?
    The birds wondered where to alight.

  24. stephanie Hammer

    he almost drowned

    he almost drowned
    at the beach
    she was teaching him to swim

    he didn’t know how
    he thought they were going to the pool
    he almost drowned

    she only brought him
    in order to see the forbidden one
    she was teaching him how to swim

    the waters of desire are vast
    and they often don’t carry you
    he almost drowned

    he didn’t know til almost floating
    he felt her let go, swim to the one she’d come for
    he almost drowned
    she was teaching him how to swim

  25. Nancy Posey

    Villanelle? Why Not?

    Who wouldn’t want to write a villanelle
    a lovely French poetic form to try,
    the kind that Frost and Thomas crafted well?

    The intertwining rhyme casts such a spell,
    with charms that in her repetitions lie.
    Who wouldn’t want to write a villanelle?

    When writing free verse, it’s so hard to tell
    when lines should break—and where–so why not try
    the kind that Frost and Thomas crafted well?

    To spare oneself eternal poets’ hell
    where third rate versifiers sure must fry,
    Who wouldn’t want to write a villanelle?

    For words that ring like songs in Sainte Chapelle,
    that almost seem to dumbfound passersby,
    the kind that Frost and Thomas crafted well,

    the muse who handed Donne his tolling bell,
    can breathe life into lines for such as I;
    Who wouldn’t want to write a villanelle,
    the kind that Frost and Thomas crafted well?

    Nancy Posey

    Thank goodness I saved this one. When it wasn’t there this morning, I thought I’d stayed up too late and dreamed a villanelle!

  26. Shutta| shuttaATshuttacrumDOTcom

    Robert–I had posted below here earlier. So I’ll repost this as it’s gotten lost. (I knew I wasn’t hallucinating about the Villanelle post!)

    Just wanted to let you know that I did a posting on my website about the challenge at the 1/2 way point: 1/2 Way and Still Alive! (Esp. as I am adding the extra constraint of a new form/technique with each poem.) Anyway, it’s at http://www.shutta.com if you want to stop by. (I also added the link to the Katie Evans-Bush interview.) Thanks!

    Shutta

    p.s.–Bruce–great poem!!!!

  27. Julia Holzer

    (Comment only, not a poem): Thanks for the Villanelle posting. I was flying creatively blind with my rhyme in one piece, pushing it and likely any reader, as though it were an Algebra 2 test. Way too hard. But then there was your post, and I know the rewrite will fit nicely into a Villanelle, which I’ll post here. ~ Julia Holzer

  28. David Blaine

    Here’s one I wrote, hope you enjoy.

    Bound to be Free.

    Young ghosts of tomorrow, wail away;
    it’s easy to echo your plaintive song.
    You’re bound to turn suddenly free someday.

    You children are asking to hear what we say,
    but we answer "all that you do is wrong"
    so young ghosts of tomorrow walk away.

    Watching for saviors through tears of clay
    uncertain the moment will wait that long,
    you’re bound to find someone to follow today.

    Skywardly wishing to fly away,
    hoping to heaven your bones will belong,
    young ghosts of tomorrow wait and pray.

    Following leaders of papier-mâché,
    daylight is squandered ’til night comes along.
    You’re bound to become just like us someday.

    Yearning, you hold out for one more song,
    but finally fail to hear it play.
    Young ghosts of tomorrow, refusing to stay,
    are finally bound to be free today.

  29. Georgia Henry

    I’m hoping it’s acceptable to put a revised version on here of my earlier poem. I missed the part about the 8-10 syllables a line until I re-read it later. Here is the revised one:
    Sunny Day Tragedy

    Children littering the street,
    skates and bikes whizzing by;
    sunny day, adding to the heat.

    Young boy trapped, up went his feet,
    crashed into concrete like blinded bird;
    children littering the street.

    "No helmet!" Mom runs to meet
    ambulance arrives, mom wipes his brow.
    Sunny day, adding to the heat.

    Unconscious child, oh so sweet,
    rushed to hospital, mom in tow;
    children littering the street.

    Blood splattered on children’s feet,
    severe head injury suffered on a
    sunny day, adding to the heat.

    Comforting children crying in defeat,
    hope came–recovery is good with
    children littering the street,
    sunny day, adding to the heat.

  30. Daniel McGill

    I saw a love story today at Noon
    About two hearts trying to come together
    Love is either too fast or too slow

    Too young not to get it right the first time
    Both still looking out for me and mine
    I saw a love story today at Noon

    Love is a slow blooming flower
    Love is a fast thunder shower
    Love is either too fast or too slow

    Hollywood can sometimes mimic life
    Like a camera following you
    I saw a love story today

    I saw two people reaching for something
    Not knowing yet what that could be
    Love is either too fast or too slow

    Who can keep up with two hearts
    Beating as one and beating apart
    I saw a love story today at Noon
    Love is either too fast or too slow

  31. Diane Hobaugh

    Believing in Dreams for this Newborn Child

    Believing in dreams for this newborn child,
    questioning, fearing while hope slowly dies;
    beautiful baby accepting and mild.

    Devoting more time, feeling so wild,
    reading every book researching ties;
    believing in dreams for this newborn child.

    Hopes and possibilities slowly filed,
    then meeting a parent, sharing life’s highs;
    beautiful baby, accepting and mild.

    Families reeling, not feeling defiled,
    passion growing as big as the skies;
    believing in dreams for this newborn child.

    Talent mastery uniquely tiled,
    celebrating now, confidence flies;
    beautiful baby, accepting and mild.

    Altering journey from the one dialed,
    relishing gifts in my daughter’s eyes,
    believing in dreams for this newborn child;
    beautiful baby, accepting and mild.

  32. Bear

    Half Moon Bay

    At nine you’re still transfixed by kelp and algae,
    that cast of Shakespearean tide pool performers.
    You’ve lost your mother but not your curiosity.

    Crouched you assess a pompon anemone
    with colors, Miro and forms, Kapoor.
    At nine you’re still transfixed by kelp and algae.

    Your finger sinks through the surface of the sea.
    A wave summons me from farther ashore.
    You’ve lost your mother but not your curiosity.

    Your stare requests I recall my marine biology.
    I describe how the whole tide pool is in accord.
    At nine you’re still transfixed by kelp and algae.

    The sunsets blue, waves start their cacophony
    of moans and murmurs and midnight massacres.
    At nine you’re still transfixed by kelp and algae.
    You’ve lost your mother but not your curiosity.

  33. Georgia Henry

    Sweltering, Sunny Day Tragedy

    Sweltering summer, children littering the street.
    skates and bikes whizzing by one another on a
    very sunny day, adding to the heat.

    Young boy tripped, up went his feet,
    crashed into concrete like a blinded bird in a
    sweltering summer, children littering the street.

    "No helmet," yelled mother, running to meet
    the ambulance arriving, she wiped his brow on a
    very sunny day, adding to the heat.

    He lay unconscious, this child so sweeet.
    Paramedics, sirens blaring, trip to hospital in a
    sweltering summer, children littering the street.

    Blood splattered everywhere, onto children’s feet.
    Severe head injury the boy had suffered on a
    very sunny day, adding to the heat.

    Comforting the children, crying in defeat,
    hope from a phone call–recovery is good on a
    sweltering summer, children littering the street.
    Very sunny day, adding to the heat.

    This was my first Villanelle Poem and I loved it–great fun, thanks!

  34. ina Roy-Faderman

    Hey Robert,
    I think it’s not that your site hates villanelles (heh), but I think there’s an overarching technical issue.

    I usually post late at night (around 2 a.m. PST) and almost every night for a week, I’ve gotten "server load disk-space exceeded" type error messages. My guess is that writersdigest’s web service provider isn’t actually prepared to handle the load to your sub-site – they may need to ask them to shift the space limits for your comments. Or alternately, if they can’t, you might to download some comments to outlook (as you seem to be doing already) and then delete existing comments to free more space (that won’t stop people from posting comments on older posts, of course, so people will still be able to play catch-up).

    Anyhow, you may have already been aware of repeated error messages, but in case you weren’t, it might be worth passing on to the powers that be.

    BTW I passed the link on your villanelle to a couple of lawyer friends – both send kudos 🙂

  35. Kit Cooley

    Just wanted to thank you, Robert, for this challenge. I have never done something like this before, and didn’t think I would make it this far. I’ve been blocked with all my writing for some time, and this has taken the cork out of the bottle for all the creative juices. Some powerful pieces from folks, all around.

    Happy spring!

  36. Bruce Niedt

    Somehow a few comments from yesterday disappeared from here, including an excellent villanelle from Nancy Posey (maybe she’ll re-post it) and one I wrote for the Day 8 prompt. But instead, I’ll offer this one, which I wrote for my in-laws and was previously published:

    Odd Couple

    He’s so slow and she’s so fast,
    They’re opposites, one may presume.
    So will this marriage ever last?

    Methodical, he’s fly-fish-cast;
    She sweeps like a brand-new broom.
    His style is slow, while hers is fast.

    He’s half-done the night’s repast,
    When she clears dishes from the room.
    How can this marriage ever last?

    He measures twice, with notes amassed;
    She’s kitchen-sink and sonic-boom.
    He takes life slow; she likes it fast.

    Her fuse is short, his patience vast;
    They were not knit from common loom.
    Why should this marriage ever last?

    And how much time together passed?
    Sixty years as bride and groom.
    She loves him slow; he loves her fast.
    They made this marriage ever-last.

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