Marxist. Trade Unionist. Socialist-feminist. Author. Poet. Speaker. Tutor. RMT ex-Exec. Workers' Liberty. Autie. Bi. PUFC fan.


A nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five three-line stanzas (tercets) followed by a final, four-line stanza (quatrain). The first and third lines of the first stanza rhyme with each other and are repeated throughout the poem (although they can be varied a little): the first line of the first stanza is the last line of the second and fourth stanzas, and the third line of the first stanza is the last line of the third and fifth stanzas. The two lines then form the last couplet of the final stanza. The first and last lines of all the stanza rhyme with each other, and the second lines of all stanzas also rhyme with each other. However hard anyone tries to make it sound simple, it is always a lot clearer to understand what a villanelle is by looking at one rather than looking at a description of what one is!

Villanelle to the Villanelle

Submitted by Janine on 23 December 2014 at 15:30

For those with powerful poignant tale to tell
Outsiders seeking structure so sublime
A strong expressive form is villanelle

Its lines repeat like sounding of a bell
Each tercet ends with alternating chime
For those with powerful poignant tale to tell

It saves us from unstructured rhymeless hell
So modernists disdain its fixed-form crime
So villainous a form is villanelle

Villanelle: Terminal 420

Submitted by Janine on 14 November 2014 at 19:55

When I visited the Port of Antwerp in October 2014 with the ETF Women's Committee, we were due to go to a particular terminal - but it was closed, after a seafarer was killed while a ship was being loaded the previous day. The port is staffed only by registered dockers, under rules similar to the UK's National Dock Labour Scheme, abolished by the Tories in the 1980s.