Poetic Forms Winner: The Villanelle


Hi everyone!

If you haven’t yet seen this week’s description of the Villanelle, then please do check it out to find out more about one of my favourite forms of poetry.

This week, both Niteowl and Aley rose to the challenge and it was very difficult to choose a favourite between two excellent poems, but I settled on Aley’s ‘The Falling Sky’ and now I’m going to tell you why I liked it.

The Falling Sky

I never knew my villanelle could fly
above my head, without my permission,
until one day I saw the falling sky.

I was shocked to see it spread, like dye,
my love had to explain such fruition,
I never knew my villanelle could fly.

When asked about the victory, I lie
and claim to be a wonderful tactician,
until one day I saw the falling sky.

To this day, I try to disprove my eye
as I see this beast as some regression.
I never knew my villanelle could fly.

Proof of my use, that whenever I try,
I can produce the rule’s vague description
until one day I saw the falling sky.

It is like some damned curse to occupy
beneath sky floating as an exception.
I never knew my villanelle could fly,
until one day I saw the falling sky.

Not only did Aley choose an unusual and challenging rhyme scheme for her B lines, but she also varied the structure of each line to give us beautiful statements like ‘when asked about the victory, I lie’ which creates a very natural and smooth voice for her persona. There are great visuals from the spreading dye to the repeated line of ‘until one day I saw the falling sky’ which is definitely my favourite line of the poem and manages to retain its strength right to the last repetition.

Of course, the clever trick of this poem is that it’s a Villanelle about writing a Villanelle and there’s a great sense of self awareness and humour, particularly in the line: ‘I can produce the rule’s vague description’. This poem packs a punch and no line is without some added meaning or a statement of its own – my congratulations to you Aley, well done!

** Image owned by Enokson at Flickr.


Heather, who goes by Rydia on YWS, has long been an aspiring author. In the early days of her life she attached herself to poetry and would curl up on the playground bench to scrawl down lines of forgotten virtue. Or, more likely, little virtue at all. At the very old age of 11, she joined The Young Writers Club and progressed into the realms of roleplay. Here she constructed characters to fight off dragons or rally to their allies' aid with healing spells; a joint love of gaming heavily influenced this fondness of adventure storybooks. A few more years went by before Heather became a serious novelist and she still considers poetry to be her favourite media for getting those thoughts down on paper. Outside of writing her loves include puzzle books, strategy/ fantasy games, movies, swimming, skiing (when she actually has money), crafty things, baking, food in general, fun pranks and anything involving snow.

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