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Famous Villanelle Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Villanelle poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous villanelle poems. These examples illustrate what a famous villanelle poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Wilde, Oscar
 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...Read More

by Nemerov, Howard
 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...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 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...Read More

by Carruth, Hayden
 "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,...Read More

by Justice, Donald
 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...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar

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...Read More

by Douglas, Keith
 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...Read More

by Hall, Donald
 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...Read More

by Hardy, Thomas
 "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...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
 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,...Read More

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