Villanelles

Villanelles are a 19-line French poetry form involving a serious subject

described in iambic pentameter and containing two repeating lines and two repeating rhymes. 

One of the most famous villanelles, which inspired most of the poems below, is “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas.   Avis Harley's “Come, Drum!” inspired most of the others.

 

Click here for Villanelles by Giselle Ates

 

Villanelles by Students

 

"Do Not Swing Gentle into that Fist Fight"

by Ian Jordan (11th grade) Feb. 4, 2015

(Inspired by Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night”)

 

Do not swing gentle into that fist fight

Your rage should burn and rave at close of fray

Rage Rage against the dying or the flight

 

Truly wise men claim it is wrong to fight

Because their fists had forked no lightning they

Do not swing gentle into that fist fight

 

Good men, their last wave, crying faces white

Their worn, frail hands barely able to pray

Rage rage against the dying or the flight

 

Wild men who caught many, knuckles light

Learned too late what forces to try and slay

Do not swing gentle into that fist fight

 

Grave men who missed till too late, their plight

Red eyes could gaze like empty moons at bay

Rage rage against the dying or the flight

 

And you my opponent, there on the dirt height

Curse, bless you now, your fierce blows, I say

Do not swing gentle into that fist fight

Rage rage against the dying or the flight

 

“Come, Poem!” by Miryam Gabriel (11th grade) 2014

 

 

Come, poem! Get out of my brain!

As elusive as a single raindrop,

Dangling – aha! I've found my refrain!

 

Swirling in fragments, a screaming train.

Though my fingers move, you won't stop.

Come, poem! Get out of my brain!

 

You flow jagged, give me rhythmic pain.

 Villanelle shmillanelle, jump, skip, hop.

Dangling – aha! I've found my refrain!

 

Maybe this will make it plain.

Nope, I'm certain this will flop!

Come, poem! Get out of my brain!

 

Hopefully, you won't prove a bane.

I think I found you in a curiosity shop.

Dangling – aha! I've found my refrain!

 

Figure yourself out, I've nothing to gain.

Dancing verbal insanity, spinning like a top.

Come, poem! Get out of my brain!

Dangling – aha! I've found my refrain!

 

“I O U” by Miryam Gabriel (11th grade)

(Inspired by Elizabeth Bishop's “One Art" and the Sherlock episode “The Reichenbach Fall”)

 

I had to walk away resolutely.

I left my heart on the pavement with you.

(Just one more miracle, please, please, for me.)

 

“Believe a lie as I fall,” you told me.

“It was just a magic trick.” That won't do.

I had to walk away resolutely.

 

These are broken tears I can't let you see.

I'll be strong while you rest (this is not true).

(Just one more miracle, please, please, for me.)

 

I suppose your harried spirit is free.

Now I am alone, with nothing to do.

I had to walk away resolutely.

 

I said goodbye to you under your tree.

I think the leaves sighed with me over you.

(Just one more miracle, please, please, for me.)

 

I say I miss you; I mean dreadfully.

You'll keep your place in my heart (this is true).

I had to walk away resolutely.

(Just one more miracle, please, please, for me.)

 

"Deception" by Christian Poteet (11th grade) 2012

 

Deception enslaves people in its grip

Society confused and on their way to Hell

Christ is the only way to be freed of deception’s cruel whip

 

Tossing those who are weak like huge waves against a model ship

“You are worth nothing” is what they yell

Deception enslaves people in its grip

 

Christ cries out they are the reason he made the Calvary trip

Ringing boldly the warning the bell

Christ is the only way to be freed of deception’s cruel whip

 

Satan attacks through hand and lip

He makes one feel as if all is well

Deception enslaves people in its grip

 

The truths that Christ gives are more than just a tip

He offers warnings that no man can tell

Christ is the only way to be freed of deception’s cruel whip

 

Jesus gives us the solid foundation that we might not slip

Satan’s attacks are like highly explosive shells

Deception enslaves people in its grip

Christ is the only way to be freed from deception’s cruel whip

 

"The Ocean Air" by Ciera Ortiz (11th grade) 2012

 

I just can’t wait to get there

I’d drive all day and night

All just to feel the ocean air 

 

Caught up with stress? I’ll give you advice

Don’t stop driving till you hit the sea

The cure is found in this ocean paradise 

 

In the salty wind blows my hair

I’d risk my skin for the infamous sunburns

All just to feel the ocean air 

 

Crickets and ukulele stings fill the night

We sit around the sire telling stories

Then we fall asleep and start it all over at daylight 

 

Swimming out far is only for those who dare

I’d take take on the long walk back

All just to feel the ocean air 

 

You can’t get this feeling just anywhere

The ocean is a unique medication

I’d take the time to travel there

All just to feel the ocean air

 

"Victorious Villanelle" by Cory Avra (11th grade) 2012

 

I wonder what will become of me

On the day that I will die

But it’s just another mystery

 

My future is dark and I can’t see

Anything that might pass me by

I wonder what will become of me

 

Will my death be sad? Will it make them angry?

Will anyone wished they could have said goodbye?

But it’s just another mystery

 

Under the tree of life I lie free

Pondering quietly about the sky

I wonder what will become of me

 

Will I invoke envy?  

Or happiness imply?  

But it’s just another mystery

 

Will I speak with fluency?

Or give off an ecstatic high?

I wonder what will become of me

But it’s just another mystery

 

"Whisper" by Julia Pope (10th grade) 2012

 

Listening to the o’ so harmless breeze

You mistakenly fade away at the latest hour of night

As you listen to the faint whisper amongst the trees

 

The sound will slowly bring you to ease

And you will be filled with pure delight

Listening to the o’ so harmless breeze

 

The whole world becomes gray and starts to freeze

And you feel as if you are being held on tight

As you listen to the faint whisper amongst the trees

 

Alluding you, the whisper is appease

Tricking you to think you’re alright

Listening to the o’ so harmless breeze

 

Suddenly you feel at unease

You realize your suffering from painful smite

As you listen to the faint whisper amongst the trees

 

This demonic plague starts to tease

With the paranormal whisper that now brings you to fright

Listening to the o’ so harmless breeze

As you listen to the faint whisper amongst the trees 

 

"Villainous Minecraft" by Theunis Myburg (11th grade) 2012

 

Farming zombies and punching trees

Let's quickly build a portal to hell

Why do we even play games like these?

 

There walks and Enderman, but be careful what he sees

And here's a villager, with emeralds to sell

Farming zombies and punching trees

 

Pumpkin pie and useless cookies

And a pig stuck in the village well

Why do we even play games like these?

 

A peaceful first day? The skeleton disagrees

So for now, underground you'll dwell

Farming zombies and punching trees

 

A sudden his, death, guarantees

And where's that spider hiding, I can't tell

Farming zombies and punching trees

Why do we even play games like these?

 

"Heartbreak" by Tiffany Chen (11th grade) 2012

 

Slowly I can feel my fragile heart break

Watching you leave causes me to be sad

The tears fall freely because my heart aches

 

How could you hurt me, my love you did take

I thought I’d have you forever, my bad

Slowly I can feel my fragile heart break

 

Every morning I do not want to wake

From my sweet nice dreams which make my glad

The tears fall freely because my heart aches

 

Thinking you were the one was a mistake

Now you should watch out for my angered dad

Slowly I can feel my fragile heart break

 

All through the endless night I think I can make

Out your face in the shadows but I had

The tears fall freely because my heart aches

 

When I fell for you there was much at stake

But you didn’t care because you’re a lad

Slowly I can feel my fragile heart break

The tears fall freely because my heart aches

 

"Endless Dreams" by Ariel Byrnes (12th grade) 2012

 

I wake to sleep and sleep to dream

I am part of stories that will never be told

And yet, not all is what it seams

 

Crystalized in my head

Will I ever get to tell?

The wondrous mysteries to be said

 

But the fun of dreaming is not to end

I will forever be enslaved

To this never forgetting friend

 

Most are fools to ignore the tales

These dreams are history

Ready to be set a sail 

 

Enchanting yet dangerous

These unpredictable things

But I shall be courageous! 

 

These riptides of the night

Exult in the tremendous play

Because these unending dreams

Are never as them seam.

 

 

 

 

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