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A Villanelle

For Paradise is made of brutal stuff.
But fools should strive the hopeless to attain
while Hell shall offer good men quite enough.

One’s honor is a cold, contentious bluff.
Thence, why inquire of Valhalla’s pain,
for Paradise is made of brutal stuff.

No one of us, the frail or ersatz tough
can live a life of truth to Heaven gain
while Hell shall offer good men quite enough.

A man of high regard avows with fluff,
his lies contrived to purify God’s stain,
for Paradise is made of brutal stuff.

The duel is too sublime, the path too rough.
Accomplishment is meaningless and vain
while Hell shall offer good men quite enough.

So why should I not all my virtue slough?
Why ever from my sins should I abstain?
For Paradise is made of brutal stuff
while Hell shall offer good men quite enough.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
I've had some comments on this elsewhere as being a rather disturbing perspective. It is not my perspective. The poem was written for the purpose of learning how to write a villanelle and the subject sort of wrote itself. Please tear apart the poem and don't sweat the content unless it makes no sense to you and should be clarified better. wesley
Editing stage: 

Comments

I have a tendency to speak and write in archaic fashion, so "No one of us..." is what I hear. It's a curse, but I like it. Thank you for looking in on me. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
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author comment

Misspelled vanilla in title lol. I enjoyed reading this but will give you some alternatives ( some might disrupt this particular form which I'm unfamiliar with) :
l-1 change period to comma (HA! a PUNCTUATION suggestion lol)
l-5 change brutal to stern ( if done, should change it in following repeats)
l-8 gain Heaven ( my opinion is the inversion is unneeded)
l-17 ....from sinning should.......
Just a few ideas............stan

First suggestion is good, but I don't know how strict the form is supposed to be. I have to use the line separately a number of times, so does adding/detracting a comma or period constitute an alteration in the line? Argh! Sticklers!
Second, I thought of that. It would have to be "sterner" to work in the meter, but then I thought (and god help me this is Jeffrey in my head)- "sterner than what? Explain yourself!"
Inversion required. The rhyme structure in non negotiable.
"Why ever from my sinning should abstain?" Meter, meter, meter. Not sure there.
The villanelle is sort of like the sonnet in that it can't be messed with (though unlike the sonnet, one won't be struck by lightning if he does). For fun, read Dylan Thomas "Do not go quiet into that dark night".
See you soon.
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
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author comment

http://new.neopoet.com/node/corporate-villanelle

and it was like pulling teeth!
I don't have copies of my villanelles from years ago but I'm sure they just ran out of my pen once I had the idea down.
[sighs]
getting old I spose.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Directors

I'll have to look into that. Thanks for checking it out. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I do believe we have met before but if not Hello to you again.

I read this and it is okay but the only thing that did not jive was the title unless you are waiting on the title. This form of poetry is hard I know for we tried this a while back in a contest here. ( I like that) I was thinking for you on a title if you don't mind..

Brutal Stuff

or

Brutal Stuff

or

Paradise of Brutality ?? That doesn't sound right to me after thoughts.. Scratch that one:)

You let me know and welcome here again. Good job at this even though it leaves some what the mind going back and forth to paradise and brutality all in one. Just my thoughts

Mona

The title is a non title as all of my small poems are experiments in form and I don't usually try to title them. Just lazy really. Think of it as a musical piece. "Toccata in D minor". That sort of thing. I'll use any title you give me.
As for the subject flashing back and forth, I read literature on the form and that was one of the "requirements". When I play with a new form I try to follow every rule I come across however frustrating. It is therefore an experiment in limitations that (I trust) teaches my mind to think in such terms. Therefore, when I relax and simply write what is on my mind or heart, the form leads comfortably.
Did any of that make sense?
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

And I can relate with your statements here for sure Wesley. I did a villanelle one before and I remember how I tackled with it but when all was said and done with it, that is an accomplishment if you ask me and a form that if one practiced upon daily would probably perfect upon.
For me not:)

As I am just a simple poet who likes to express words in the meanings I can describe the best. Very simple and maybe sometime hard for some to decipher or "get". This one perhaps made me to read it here a few times to try to grasp its meanings and none the same congrat you on your skill and effort you poured into it. That is what poets do try different things out of their comfort zones. It breaks the monotony up dosen't it? Must go now nice to read you once again.

Will read more of you as time permits. I think you were on the old Neo site also. Am I correct? Take care and look forward to reading more of you.

Ms Mona

Your poem sucks, I mean your villanelle hit rocks, I mean it rocks.

;-)

~A

So it throws rocks? Excellent. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I've written some of these myself. It's hard! You've done an excellent job, and I really do like the subject you've chosen.
On small thing, I did not like the use of the word "fluff", it seemed unfitted to the rest of the piece, somehow too light and airey for me. Perhaps use "bluff" instead? that would fit better, particularly with the subsequent lines in that stanza.
All in all a very good villanelle, well thought-out, well constructed, and powerful in meaning.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

Fluff was wrong from the start, but my mind was melting with the effort and I went with it. I will look at "bluff". Thanks and don't stop. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I started promising myself I would not repeat a rhyme. A brutal and unnecessary limitation, but a promise is a promise. Especially since Dylan Thomas' "Do not go quiet..." was one of the poems I used as a model and he repeated rhymes multiple times with no ill effect.
Do you have another suggestion? Otherwise, I will go with bluff. I mean what's one rhyme repeated between friends?
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment
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