Loomery

Guillemots huddle on a cliff ledge;
indifferent in monochrome,
they’re packed together to the edge.

Experienced and fully fledged
like pilots from an aerodrome,
guillemots huddle on a cliff ledge.

Hidden by coarse and salty sedge
that sprouts among the seaside foam,
they’re packed together to the edge.

The ridge is a place of anchorage,
to nibble necks, growl welcome home:
guillemots huddle on a cliff ledge.

A mother whirrs, chicks pluck up courage
to leap and fly into the unknown,
they’re packed together to the edge.

Above currents and waves that tow and dredge,
daring to dive and ready to roam,
guillemots huddle on a cliff ledge,
they’re packed together to the edge.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Loomery of Guillemots by Colin See-Paynotn

Loomery of Guillemots by Colin See-Paynton found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar – How to Write a Villanelle

Today Frank has reintroduced us to the villanelle, which Colin Lee used in a poem last month. He says we’ve done villanelle’s before, but the last one was over two years ago and that was based on a re-post of Samuel Peralta’s original post, in which we can find Dylan Thomas’ famous villanelle begging his dying father to rage against the night.

Frank sees the villanelle as having two parts: ‘theme’ and the ‘details’. He says that firstly, the theme is summarized in a couplet. This is the punch line or the reason why we’re writing the poem. Secondly, we need to fill in the details. There are six mini-poems in the villanelle, one for each stanza, and we need to fill in the details so the resulting poem resonates with the reader and develops the theme.

The villanelle flips around on only two rhyme sounds. An important question is: are there enough easy rhyme words so we don’t have to think too hard about the rhyme?

Some people find villanelles difficult to write, which is why Frank has been very kind in allowing us, If we have written one in the past, to link that older poem for this challenge. He is also happy for us to change the meter from iambic pentameter to something else, or to take the villanelle form and make something new out of it. If we do, we should let everyone know how your new form relates to the old villanelle.

Today’s challenge, therefore, is to write a villanelle (or a modified villanelle) on our blog or find one you have already written and then link it to dVerse Poets Pub meeting the Bar.

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41 thoughts on “Loomery

    1. Thank you, Charley. But after reading villanelles by Bjorn, Grace and Glenn, I realise my final stanza is missing a line and I don’t know whether to re-write it or leave it as it is. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just know that if you rewrite and totally post again with same title, the link will change on mr link etc….
        but if you just edit by adding another line or whatever — and leave the title the same, you’ll be okay in mr link.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I have not seen them packed like that on the edge yet ~ Kim, I specially like this imagery:

    like pilots from an aerodrome,

    For the last stanza, you can just add 1 more line and rearrange it like this, if you like:

    (((()))))
    daring to dive and ready to roam,
    Guillemots huddle on a cliff ledge,
    they’re packed together to the edge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was the first time I heard of these birds. I guess it makes sense to build nests together on a cliff edge. There is some security there. Nice villanelle. I also liked the use of “anchorage” as one of the rhyme words with “edge”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Guillemots — did not know of this bird. I especially like how you’ve described them so I can know them 🙂
    Great job with the rhyming. I especially liked these lines, which really had me visualizing these birds:
    “indifferent in monochrome,
    they’re packed together to the edge.
    like pilots from an aerodrome,”
    What I admire most though is the flow of the poem….not forced at all by the restrictions of the form…it really reads and flows well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alison – I hope you find some. I’m not sure ‘d be able to see any right now as my eyes are so sore – I have styes in both of them, possibly from staring at a screen for hours on end while marking GCSE English papers. And I’m not finished yet!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is perfect. Your use of the form impeccable and in such a well explore usage. I never heard of guillemots before. I looked them us, they appear to be related to penguins perhaps. We had grackles at the beach which lined up everywhere along with seagulls and sent their fledglings out much the way you stated here. The grackles seem to be a variation of a crow with as many songs (or sounds) and just as smart and resourceful.
    Thank you for this. It was lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. At the beaches here in WA, we get gulls & crows constantly at war with each other. Gulls are better flyers but crows are better fighters. You aced the form–it flowed flawlessly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely! These were the lines that stood out for me

    “Experienced and fully fledged
    like pilots from an aerodrome,”

    “Hidden by coarse and salty sedge
    that sprouts among the seaside foam”.

    “The ridge is a place of anchorage,
    to nibble necks, growl welcome home”

    Liked by 1 person

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