Disentanglement – a villanelle

The threads that bound our love were tangled like a strangling fishing line,
For we were drawn together and driven apart by our insecurities and fears.
Now all that remains is one pure strand reaching out to your heart from mine

Sailing high and proud like triumphant kites, it was our joy to intertwine
But though we dreamed of soaring united beyond life’s prosaic frontiers,
The threads that bound our love were tangled like a strangling fishing line.

We had barely begun to enjoy the richness of our love’s intoxicating wine,
Before the drink was tainted by arguments where love is reduced to sneers.
Now all that remains is one pure strand reaching out to your heart from mine.

Love cannot flourish when entwined in fear like a tree by a suffocating vine,
And though we tried to be honest, dispensing with insecurity’s masking veneers,
The threads that bound our love were tangled like a strangling fishing line.

Some threads were cruelly ripped away, others faded with the passing of time.
Mine were starved by your cruel silence, yours drowned by my unbearable tears
Now all that remains is one pure strand reaching out to your heart from mine.

So now, I walk on, strong and alone, choosing not to be angry or to pine.
My heart still sends out compassion and love, even if your heart never hears.
The threads that bound our love were tangled like a strangling fishing line;
Now all that remains is one pure strand reaching out to your heart from mine.


I’ve been wanting to write a villanelle for some time, but it’s such a difficult form that I never seemed to get beyond the first verse. But then this morning I wrote a free verse poem whose subject seemed a suitable candidate for this tangled repetitive form.

It was quite a struggle to fit the repeated refrains into the verses in a way that made sense both in the immediate context and in the overall story of the poem, particularly when allowed to use only two rhymes throughout the entirel poem! There are still a few corners that would benefit from polishing, but I’m still very proud of myself for having produced my first functioning villanelle!

I’d be interested to know what people think about these two different poems based around the same idea and imagery. Does the repetition and convolution of the villanelle form make a better poem, or is the original’s greater freshness more effective?

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3 responses to “Disentanglement – a villanelle

  1. well i have written a villanelle and know how technically challenging it can be,, and there is definitely something to be said for the amount of work that goes into one… however i feel the original more,, as somehow the constraints of the villanelle,, although it is excellently crafted seem to strangle out the feeling…

  2. This is beautiful Lirone. I do prefer the Villanelle. I enjoyed the stress that it creates on the line that binds. Well done.

  3. I absolutely adore Villanelles. This one of yours is no exception. As a previous commenter said, it’s very beautiful.

    I tried one myself a while ago.

    Butterfly Villanelle

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