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Best Famous Villanelle Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Villanelle poems. This is a select list of the best famous Villanelle poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Villanelle poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of villanelle poems.

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Written by Oscar Wilde | Create an image from this poem

A Villanelle

 O singer of Persephone!
In the dim meadows desolate
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Still through the ivy flits the bee
Where Amaryllis lies in state;
O Singer of Persephone!

Simaetha calls on Hecate
And hears the wild dogs at the gate;
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Still by the light and laughing sea
Poor Polypheme bemoans his fate;
O Singer of Persephone!

And still in boyish rivalry
Young Daphnis challenges his mate;
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Slim Lacon keeps a goat for thee,
For thee the jocund shepherds wait;
O Singer of Persephone!
Dost thou remember Sicily?


Written by Howard Nemerov | Create an image from this poem

Lion and Honeycomb

 He didn't want to do it with skill,
He'd had enough of skill.
If he never saw Another villanelle, it would be too soon; And the same went for sonnets.
If it had been Hard work learning to rime, it would be much Harder learning not to.
The time came He had to ask himself, what did he want? What did he want when he began That idiot fiddling with the sounds of things.
He asked himself, poor moron, because he had Nobody else to ask.
The others went right on Talking about form, talking about myth And the (so help us) need for a modern idiom; The verseballs among them kept counting syllables.
So there he was, this forty-year-old teen-ager Dreaming preposterous mergers and divisions Of vowels like water, consonants like rock (While everybody kept discussing values And the need for values), for words that would Enter the silence and be there as a light.
So much coffee and so many cigarettes Gone down the drain, gone up in smoke, Just for the sake of getting something right Once in a while, something that could stand On its own flat feet to keep out windy time And the worm, something that might simply be, Not as the monument in the smoky rain Grimly endures, but that would be Only a moment's inviolable presence, The moment before disaster, before the storm, In its peculiar silence, an integer Fixed in the middle of the fall of things, Perfected and casual as to a child's eye Soap bubbles are, and skipping stones.
Written by Ezra Pound | Create an image from this poem

Villanelle: The Psychological Hour

 I had over prepared the event,
that much was ominous.
With middle-ageing care I had laid out just the right books.
I had almost turned down the pages.
Beauty is so rare a thing.
So few drink of my fountain.
So much barren regret, So many hours wasted! And now I watch, from the window, the rain, the wandering busses.
"Their little cosmos is shaken" - the air is alive with that fact.
In their parts of the city they are played on by diverse forces.
How do I know? Oh, I know well enough.
For them there is something afoot.
As for me; I had over-prepared the event - Beauty is so rare a thing.
So few drink of my fountain.
Two friends: a breath of the forest.
.
.
Friends? Are people less friends because one has just, at last, found them? Twice they promised to come.
"Between the night and the morning?" Beauty would drink of my mind.
Youth would awhile forget my youth is gone from me.
(Speak up! You have danced so stiffly? Someone admired your works, And said so frankly.
"Did you talk like a fool, The first night? The second evening?" "But they promised again: 'To-morrow at tea-time'.
") Now the third day is here - no word from either; No word from her nor him, Only another man's note: "Dear Pound, I am leaving England.
"
Written by Hayden Carruth | Create an image from this poem

Saturday At The Border

 "Form follows function follows form .
.
.
, etc.
" --Dr.
J.
Anthony Wadlington Here I am writing my first villanelle At seventy-two, and feeling old and tired-- "Hey, Pops, why dontcha give us the old death knell?"-- And writing it what's more on the rim of hell In blazing Arizona when all I desired Was north and solitude and not a villanelle, Working from memory and not remembering well How many stanzas and in what order, wired On Mexican coffee, seeing the death knell Of sun's salvos upon these hills that yell Bloody murder silently to the much admired Dead-blue sky.
One wonders if a villanelle Can do the job.
Granted, old men now must tell Our young world how these bigots and these retired Bankers of Arizona are ringing the death knell For everyone, how ideologies compel Children to violence.
Artifice acquired For its own sake is war.
Frail villanelle, Have you this power? And must Igo and sell Myself? "Wow," they say, and "cool"--this hired Old poetry guy with his spaced-out death knell.
Ah, far from home and God knows not much fired By thoughts of when he thought he was inspired, He writes by writing what he must.
Death knell Is what he's found in his first villanelle.
Credit: Copyright © 1995 by Hayden Carruth.
Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.
coppercanyonpress.
org
Written by Donald Justice | Create an image from this poem

Villanelle At Sundown

 Turn your head.
Look.
The light is turning yellow.
The river seems enriched thereby, not to say deepened.
Why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.
Or are Americans half in love with failure? One used to say so, reading Fitzgerald, as it happened.
(That Viking Portable, all water spotted and yellow-- remember?) Or does mere distance lend a value to things? --false, it may be, but the view is hardly cheapened.
Why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.
The smoke, those tiny cars, the whole urban milieu-- One can like anything diminishment has sharpened.
Our painter friend, Lang, might show the whole thing yellow and not be much off.
It's nuance that counts, not color-- As in some late James novel, saved up for the long weekend and vivid with all the Master simply won't tell you.
How frail our generation has got, how sallow and pinched with just surviving! We all go off the deep end finally, gold beaten thinly out to yellow.
And why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.
Written by Oscar Wilde | Create an image from this poem

DOUBLE VILLANELLE

 I.
O goat-foot God of Arcady! This modern world is grey and old, And what remains to us of thee? No more the shepherd lads in glee Throw apples at thy wattled fold, O goat-foot God of Arcady! Nor through the laurels can one see Thy soft brown limbs, thy beard of gold And what remains to us of thee? And dull and dead our Thames would be, For here the winds are chill and cold, O goat-loot God of Arcady! Then keep the tomb of Helice, Thine olive-woods, thy vine-clad wold, And what remains to us of thee? Though many an unsung elegy Sleeps in the reeds our rivers hold, O goat-foot God of Arcady! Ah, what remains to us of thee? II.
Ah, leave the hills of Arcady, Thy satyrs and their wanton play, This modern world hath need of thee.
No nymph or Faun indeed have we, For Faun and nymph are old and grey, Ah, leave the hills of Arcady! This is the land where liberty Lit grave-browed Milton on his way, This modern world hath need of thee! A land of ancient chivalry Where gentle Sidney saw the day, Ah, leave the hills of Arcady! This fierce sea-lion of the sea, This England lacks some stronger lay, This modern world hath need of thee! Then blow some trumpet loud and free, And give thine oaten pipe away, Ah, leave the hills of Arcady! This modern world hath need of thee!
Written by Keith Douglas | Create an image from this poem

Villanelle Of Spring Bells

 Bells in the town alight with spring
converse, with a concordance of new airs
make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.
People emerge from winter to hear them ring, children glitter with mischief and the blind man hears bells in the town alight with spring.
Even he on his eyes feels the caressing finger of Persephone, and her voice escaped from tears make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.
Bird feels the enchantment of his wing and in ten fine notes dispels twenty cares.
Bells in the town alight with spring warble the praise of Time, for he can bring this season: chimes the merry heaven bears make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.
All evil men intent on evil thing falter, for in their cold unready ears bells in the town alight with spring make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.


Written by Donald Hall | Create an image from this poem

Villanelle

 Katie could put her feet behind her head
Or do a grand plié, position two,
Her suppleness magnificent in bed.
I strained my lower back, and Katie bled, Only a little, doing what we could do When Katie tucked her feet behind her head.
Her torso was a C-cup'd figurehead, Wearing below its navel a tattoo That writhed in suppleness upon the bed.
As love led on to love, love's goddess said, "No lovers ever fucked as fucked these two! Katie could put her feet behind her head!" When Katie came she never stopped.
Instead, She came, cried "God!," and came, this dancer who Brought ballerina suppleness to bed.
She curled her legs around my neck, which led To depths unplumbed by lovers hitherto.
Katie could tuck her feet behind her head And by her suppleness unmake the bed.
Written by Thomas Hardy | Create an image from this poem

The Caged Thrush Freed and Home Again (Villanelle)

 "Men know but little more than we, 
Who count us least of things terrene, 
How happy days are made to be! 

"Of such strange tidings what think ye, 
O birds in brown that peck and preen? 
Men know but little more than we! 

"When I was borne from yonder tree 
In bonds to them, I hoped to glean 
How happy days are made to be, 

"And want and wailing turned to glee; 
Alas, despite their mighty mien 
Men know but little more than we! 

"They cannot change the Frost's decree, 
They cannot keep the skies serene; 
How happy days are made to be 

"Eludes great Man's sagacity 
No less than ours, O tribes in treen! 
Men know but little more than we 
How happy days are made to be.
"
Written by Edwin Arlington Robinson | Create an image from this poem

Villanelle of Change

 Since Persia fell at Marathon,
The yellow years have gathered fast: 
Long centuries have come and gone.
And yet (they say) the place will don A phantom fury of the past, Since Persia fell at Marathon; And as of old, when Helicon Trembled and swayed with rapture vast (Long centuries have come and gone), This ancient plain, when night comes on, Shakes to a ghostly battle-blast, Since Persia fell at Marathon.
But into soundless Acheron The glory of Greek shame was cast: Long centuries have come and gone, The suns of Hellas have all shone, The first has fallen to the last:— Since Persia fell at Marathon, Long centuries have come and gone.

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