Lame Lyrics

A villanelle

I like villanelles. They rhyme, and I have a structure to follow. They are like word puzzles, and puzzles are my thing. Here’s one I wrote from a challenge in Writers’ Forum to compose a villanelle on the theme of learning about poetry.

Diagnosing Lame Lyrics

The words connect, but do they flow
like poetry? Or merely verse?
How can I tell? How will I know?

I’m not poetic. Does it show?
Poetry? Doggerel? Or worse?
The words connect, but do they flow?

I swap my phrases to and fro.
Are those lines tight, or merely terse?
How can I tell? How will I know?

Still plodding on, the verses grow.
That line scans better in reverse.
The words connect, but do they flow?

I tend each limping, word-filled row
as hopeful as a hospice nurse.
How can I help? How will I know?

Tomorrow’s fresh re-read will throw
up tortured lines: the rhymer’s curse.
The words make sense, but do they flow?
How can I tell? How will I know?


I wonder, will I ever know?


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13 thoughts on “Lame Lyrics

  1. I think this is deeper than what I’m at first reading, or am I reading too much into this?
    The introspection is great all the way through. Poetry has never been my thing. Have never been much good at it. My mind just doesn’t work that way.
    When I’m in a read and critique room and somebody is reading poetry I feel that it’s sacrilegious to critique it. It’s such a unique styled and every author has their own style. To pick apart someone’s poem is not good karma if you ask me.
    All I have to say with this one is, I love the introspective style and play on words. Good going, Cathy!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I too am in awe of those who can write poetry. The art of a poem that not only uses beautiful and considered words, but in that use, can make the reader experience many and varied emotions is amazing. Whether it makes you laugh or cry, question or believe, happy or sad the fact it reaches another human beings emotions and feelings is an art in itself. Regardless of whether the poet considers it to be mere verse, doggeral or even limerick it is a skill I envy and appreciate.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. In other words, what you’re saying is, you’re such a genius that rhyming comes so natural to you? If that’s the case, maybe you should try rap!
        When I was sixteen I wrote something. Prepare to be amazed!

        Oh, Dear Lord,
        Please hear me pray
        You’ve kept me safe all through the day

        Now, Dear Lord,
        As night goes on
        Please keep me safe until the dawn
        ©1974 Kelly Jeanne

        I wrote this poem as a more hopeful alternative to:

        Now I lay me down to sleep
        I pray the Lord my soul to keep

        If I should die before I wake
        I pray the Lord my soul to take

        The part that says, ‘If I should DIE before I wake’ was so depressing to me.

        Here’s one that I penned a few months ago. I believe it sums up my life perfectly:

        From the womb
        To the tomb
        And in between gloom
        ©2022 Kelly Jeanne

        This was how I felt at the time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh no – it doesn’t come naturally. It takes ages, but – however much I try – I’m not happy with it till it rhymes.
          I prefer your alternative to ‘now I lay me down’. The rhythm’s more upbeat and it’s altogether less gooey.


    1. I don’t have a poetic bone in my body (which is why I don’t risk blank verse) but I like to rhyme. I’m glad you enjoyed the villanelle. I’ve just discovered the rondel… I’ll be having a go at that soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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