My First Attempt at Villanelle

Apologies for the rather obvious rhyming and prosaic language. I’m attempting a vilanelle for the first time for dVerse Poets, in the spirit of being brave and trying out new forms. Join me there for some (far better) villanelles and a great sense of community.

I’ve been reading a lot of media stories lately about cyber-bullying, trolling and other cruelties of our online world. Not that there isn’t plenty of pain that we can cause each other in ‘real’ life, but wolf pack attacks are so much easier when we are anonymous.

P1020292You crawl into the bush to hide

Arrows quiver on your flanks

Lick your wounds, stem the black tide.


It’s such an easy slope to slide:

their office cheer, their thoughtless pranks.

You crawl into the bush to hide.


Cracks start spreading, fissured pride,

from dream to hell it rudely yanks.

Lick your wounds, stem the black tide.


You ventured forth, ignored and lied –

pretended words were toothless blanks.

You crawl into the bush to hide.


But something inside has surely died

as foaming waves erupt over banks.

You crawl into the bush to hide –

Lick your wounds, stem the black tide.

However, I don’t want to spoil your Passover or Easter holiday, so let me wish you beautiful weather and a relaxed, peaceful time!


30 thoughts on “My First Attempt at Villanelle”

  1. I agree that the cyber bullying craze is destructive madness–my heart bleeds for families whose kids have suffered to the point of suicide. That said, I guess I’m supposed to be commenting on your writing! Well done Villanelle, truly!

  2. I think that’s a very decent first attempt Marina – the repeated lines are very powerful, strong imagery

    I love playing around with poetry forms – my favourite is the sestina – it’s like doing a suduko but with word

    Haven’t done any poetry for a while so might try and check out dVerse Poets at some point… Honing poetry skills is great for effective prose 🙂

  3. So glad you tackled those horrible creatures, great to see poets tackling difficult yet relevant topics, that’s surely part of our raison d’être. Form? I think the form allowing for repetition creates a sense of deep emotion, perfect for the theme. Thanks for sharing, Kevin

  4. A relevant theme to write about Marina ~ Your refrain verses is on point:

    You crawl into the bush to hide –
    Lick your wounds, stem the black tide.

    As to the form, a villanelle has a total of 19 lines, so I believe you are missing one tercet (3 lines) just before the last 4 lines with the refrain: Lick your wounds, stem the black tide.

    Nevertheless, it is a powerful poem with the ending of:
    But something inside has surely died
    as foaming waves erupt over banks.

    Congrats on writing your first villanelle, smiles ~ Wishing you Happy Easter ~

    1. Ooopsie, I did think it was a bit short… sorry, my counting is not quite up to scratch, is it? Thanks for the prompt, the comment and for forcing me out of my ‘poetic comfort zone.’

  5. Cyber bullying is so hurtful and destructive; it really is. I think you’ve captured the pain it causes very effective here, and the poem has even more impact because of the repetition. Well done, Marina Sofia!

  6. Regardless of the tercet in absentia, the poem succeeds as message received, lovely, strong word smithing. As a free verse proponent, I agree that prose poems often stir the most relevancy, & hold one’s interest more intently. And yes, damn rights, it is good to be forced out of our comfort zones for these talent & depth stretching form prompts.

    1. Awww, poor little thing. My aunt once found a wounded baby bunny in the field and gave it to us (my cousins and I) to look after, but it would not feed even with a pipette, and finally ran away to almost certain death… We cried for days.

  7. Excellent! The subject you chose is so important and one that needs to be tackled more frequently. A strong write and powerful. The repeating lines drives it home. And I too was challenged to attempt my first Villain Nell….it is good and necessary to step out of that zone. you should be proud of this first attempt.

    1. Ha, I like the Villain Nell…
      I couldn’t access your poem though via the Linky at first. Just tried again and it’s working now, so will have a look at yours.

  8. Mine was one tercet long – between us, we got it right! good going, Marina, on an important subject ~

  9. Oh, yes, another very important subject one cannot read too much about, especially in (though you said prosaic, I would call it) such an evocative way as you write it.
    Double especially when it is against kids, who have not developed the coping mechanism yet (nor have all adults either…).
    Wishing you too a peaceful time 🙂

  10. I think you really hit the mark with this villanelle….it is phrased so perfectly…and ‘you crawl into the bush to hide’ describes cyber bullying so perfectly! Cowards.

  11. Bullies are the worst cowards of all and cyber space simply gives me even more opportunities to hide!

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