Category Archives: verse

These are the margins. A (possible) pantoum.

I’ve not tried a pantoum before. It’s another form where lines are repeated, changing their places – and their meaning too, if the versifier is clever enough – between stanzas. There seems to be some freedom with the structure of … Continue reading

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A couple of triolets

Back to verse after a run of prose. The prompt for this pair of triolets was a line in a previous post (…what had been left behind was lovely). What is left behind is lovely Though the moments slip away Though sunset … Continue reading

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Villanelle V: The villa of Livia

I was in Rome last week. Of all the sights and sites I saw the most impressive were wall paintings from a villa owned by Livia*, the wife of Augustus. They’re now in the National Roman Museum – Palazzo Massimo … Continue reading

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Variations on a theme

This evening, as an exercise, I tried to write essentially the same poem in three different forms: One Unweave the rainbow Spread a bright skein of fancy Across a white page Two The page is white, The pen at hand: Let … Continue reading

Posted in haiku, triolet, twitter poems, verse, villanelle | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments


In the absence of any news or thoughts about novel writing, here are a few poems. Most were written quickly for twitter. Triolets A rising tide A fullblown moon In crimson dyed A rising tide Sense override To sleep too … Continue reading

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Villanelle IV: The only rose

I set out this evening to write a poem using a prompt from an old favourite (Runrig’s The Only Rose; there’s a story behind why it’s an old favourite but I’m not minded to tell it now). Anyway, the poem went … Continue reading

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A trio of triolets

The first two I wrote as twitter poems. I wondered about adding some punctuation but decided in the end I preferred them without. There is no prize for identifying the subject of three. One Open the door The fire burns bright Excrucior Open … Continue reading

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Villanelle III: A rose, a king, an apple tree

I’m supposed to be editing a novel but I’m easily distracted from this task. This evening I started playing around with one of the songs from After the Ruin and ended up turning it into a villanelle. Why? Well, why not? Even though it’s of no … Continue reading

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‘Folk song’ in fantasy (Another post on world-building)

It’s no secret that After the Ruin was largely inspired by folk songs and that the book is a conscious response to many of the themes and motifs found in the Child Ballads. I’ve written about such things here so I won’t … Continue reading

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Another villanelle (or, in which I give in and express frustration with the form)

I’m glad all poems are not villanelles With their confounded limits on the rhyme: Mine jangle like a ring of untuned bells. Now, longing for the moment when it gels, I find each time I’m melting in quicklime. I’m glad … Continue reading

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