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For these showers we plead, a villanelle poem

Updated on August 13, 2013

Raindrops keep falling on my head

The rain comes a pouring. Our instant reactions can be one of two-to groan in frustration or to release a war whoop of appreciation.

When it rains, we may feel overwhelmed by flooding or feel the relief rainwater may provide during the dry times of our lives.

We experience emotional rain. Whether we feel as though we are being drenched by a deluge of rainwater or covered by showers of blessings depends on the kinds of showers that rain on us. They can be showers of blessing, or be waters that are the bane of our lives.

Our reactions to rain can also depend on how we douse waters upon each other. Do we overwhelm people with floods of blight, or shower them with relieving droplets of blessing?


What are the showers of blessing we need?

There are many things that we all thirst for and will allow us to thrive if we do experience them. If we can shower these little approbations upon each other, it can be an edifying experience for all.

Physical showers

The rain can be heaven sent at the right time and the right place, of course, and themselves the showers of blessing necessary for physical growth of all we see around us, sustaining all physical life.

When not in overwhelming amounts and on a hot day, these are certainly droplets of water to be grateful for.


Though we may give a self-confident “I don’t need anyone to tell me how good I am,” the truth is that we all need the showers of approval and a little pat on the back, at least periodically.

When someone tells us how good we are at doing what we do, we tend to do more of it because we feel affirmed. These little showers of approval help us to do what we do just a little better.


Have you thought about why you sometimes receive a feed back form? The person or persons requesting that you fill it out requires a little assurance and guidance from you to ascertain the state of things and how they are going.

We all ask our friends whether we look nice in this shirt or that dress, looking for the assurance that we look fine just the way we are. That little shower can really make our day.


All of us need to feel inspired to do what we do well. Without little showers of inspiration, it can be a little difficult for us to craft a good lesson as a teacher, come up with ideas for crafts or to be a good writer. Inspiration for us to be good parents as well.

We all remember the feelings of gratitude when little showers of inspiration come to move us forward.


It is a relief when we do not have to live up to everyone’s expectations and to be accepted just as we are. The little shower of unconditional acceptance tells us that there is a place to go to no matter what we do or mistakes we make.

To not live under the eyes of judgement can be a really refreshing shower of blessing!


The fact and knowledge that there are people out there who love us is the most edifying shower of blessing.

When we are deprived of the water of love, it leaves us thirstier than if we are deprived from the real water that comes from a tap. No shower, physical or otherwise, can satisfy us more than this.


What are the floods that leave us feeling overwhelmed?

There are the showers that leave us feeling drowned in an emotional flood. The question is if we have played a part, consciously or unconsciously, in dousing these waters on others.


We have all been wet by this upsetting flood and been told, or made to feel that we are not good enough for this, that or the other.

The drenching is more intense when that rejection comes from those who are closest to us and leave us with a feeling of being worse for wear, owing to their misguided words or actions. The question to ask is if we have said those words ourselves.


There is nothing more uncomfortable than being drenched by waters of insecurity. When we are not on familiar ground or feel alone, it is swimming in threatening waters without a life buoy nearby.

We often appreciate it when others are there for us at the right time and it stands that others would if we are there for them.

What makes you feel emotionally overwhelmed?

See results

The birth of the villanelle poetry form

The word “villanelle” comes from the Italian word villano or “peasant.” This form of poetry was originally a dance-song sung by a Renaissance troubador and had a rustic or pastoral theme. It took shape after Jean Passerat’s 16th century poem “i Have Lost My Turtle Dove.”

Edmund Gosse gave credence to the strict 19 line form of poetry in an article for the Cornhill magazine, A Plea for more Exotic Forms of Verse. Austin Dobson, another English poet, published a similar article entitled Some foreign forms of Verse in W. Davenport Adams Latter Day Lyrics.

It was only in the 20th century that the form became a popular form of English poetry, with Dylan Thomas Do Not Go Gentle Unto That Good Night. Many more fine examples of such forms were written in the 1980s and 1990s.

Do enjoy this little villanelle


For these showers we plead

May we have these blessed showers

Waters for growth,

Droplets of benediction, of life.

Refreshing raindrops of affirmation,

Sustaining fragility -

May we have these blessed showers?

We need water that quenches

our thirst, our doubt

droplets of benediction, of life

Rain that douses, renews

in waves that awaken-

May we have these blessed showers?

Showers that assuringly fall

On one and all, without question, are

droplets of benediction, of life

Waters of blessed, unquestioning love,

We want so much, from above,

May we have these blessed showers,

Droplets of benediction, of life?


Do we rain pleasant or unpleasant showers on others? How pleasant the showers are make a huge difference what we experience.

Copyright Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin all rights reserved


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