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Night Poetry: Darkness and Villanelle Poems

10 Comments

Night Poems Dark Poems Dylan Thomas Villanelle Poems

Night poetry can play with the ambiguity or troubled sense of darkness. Take this favorite from Dylan Thomas, that accentuates ambiguity and distress through the use of the villanelle poems form…

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

—Dylan Thomas

Poetry Prompt

Try your hand at a night poem that easily captures the ambiguity of darkness, simply by virtue of its form. Click here if you need help on how to write villanelle poems.

Thanks to our participants in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a recent fun little poem we enjoyed from Elizabeth…

All Night Long, All Night

She slept in search of pillow’s cold side
Alone, on her own
Side, of a great divide
Invisible line drawn down
The middle
Of the night, all night long, all night

She slept, he slept, they slept with rings of gold
Dreaming
Together, held, crossing over from sleep
To wake
Lines between the two blurred now, down
The middle
Of the night, all night long, all night

And still, the darkest part
Finds her dangling between
Asleep. Awake
Alone, not true,
There are two
Sides of a pillow, the warm, the cold.
The dawn’s light breaks through window
Pane,
Right down the middle of their bed,
And she awakes remembering
Her thoughts, her words, her poems
That kept her working, writing through the night
All night long, all night long, all night.

—Elizabeth Marshall

Photo by Visualpanic, Creative Commons, via Flickr.

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Your Comments

10 Comments so far

  1. Heather says:

    Night poetry is so appealing. The melancholy sort aren’t afraid of shadows in the corner. I enjoyed how Elizabeth mingles the dark with the sweet– and like the chocolate, it must be savored. Well done, Elizabeth!

    • :) friend.

      I just have so say, I never thought I would write a poem inspired by a Lionel Richie song. That’s one of things I love about Tweetspeak. Their challenges come in all sorts of interesting ways. “All Night Long, All Night” I can’t get it out of my head now. Thanks to whoever put together this month’s playlist of prompts….I think :(

  2. Ugh! I didn’t catch the Lionel Richie riff until you mentioned it–and now I can’t get it out of my head! Quick! Someone sing me a few bars of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Or Debby Boone’s You Light Up My Life!

    Just kidding. So happy to find you here my friend, and I think I’m starting to catch on to this villanelle form thingy.

    I mean reading it, not writing it :)

  3. I Am Not One Who Fears the Night

    I am not one who fears the night;
    It is in darkness I began;
    It hones the edges of my sight.

    I’m told it is the ghouls delight;
    and though I’ve walked there in the rain,
    I am not one who fears the night.

    How well its sable scrim makes bright
    The stars in the empyrean.
    It hones the edges of my sight,

    To find the silent night bird’s flight.
    Though wild thoughts run as wild thoughts can,
    I am not one who fears the night.

    Its muted hues inspire in spite
    of days advantage, days bright span.
    It hones the edges of my sight.

    What evening gives me I ghostwrite,
    Moon’s midnight lake, the owl’s wingspan.
    I am not one who fears the night.
    It hones the edges of my sight.

  4. Tak says:

    DARKNESS FALLS

    IN THE MOODY EVENING LIGHT
    WHISPERS FLOW AS DARKNESS FALLS
    SOFTLY SPEAKING IN HUSHED VOICES
    REVERIES ECHO IN DARKENED HALLS

    THE APPARITIONS BECOME VISIBLE HAZE
    FORLORN ECHOES SCREAM AND MOAN
    SHADOWS FLOAT DOWN EERIE PATHS
    HAUNTED SOULS OF LIVES UNKNOWN

    I FEEL A SHIVER GO DOWN MY SPINE
    SOUNDS OF THE BLACKNESS COME ALIVE
    BECOMING TRANSPARENT FORMS WITH PURPOSE
    ESCAPING THE NIGHT HOPING TO SURVIVE

  5. Last Crane

    Deep into the night she folds
    paper for one thousand cranes.
    Love and healing each one holds.

    In light yet dim, with hands so cold,
    she makes a wish her heart explains,
    and deep into the night she folds.

    One special bird she makes of gold,
    rare like her hope that never wanes.
    True love and healing it now holds.

    Toward three, before the sun explodes,
    she counts, her goal she near-attains.
    Still deep into the night she folds.

    These birds the gift she fair extols,
    she counts to find just one remains.
    So deeply into night she folds,
    true love the healing the last crane holds.

  6. Oops. Here’s the poem with all its stanzas:

    Last Crane

    Deep into the night she folds
    paper for one thousand cranes.
    Love for healing each one holds.

    In light yet dim, with hands so cold,
    she makes a wish her heart explains,
    and deep into the night she folds.

    One special bird she makes of gold,
    rare like her hope that never wanes.
    True love for healing it now holds.

    Toward three, before the sun explodes,
    she counts: her goal she near-attains.
    Still deep into the night she folds.

    By dying light she’s scarce consoled
    the stock nears end, her eye she strains
    but love for healing each one holds.

    These birds the gift she fair extols,
    she counts to find just one remains.
    So deeply into night she folds,
    love for healing her last crane holds.


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  1. I Am Not One Who Fears the Night. | The Imagined Jay - December 11, 2013

    […] ********** Posted in TSPoetry- Writing Prompts […]

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