ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Poetry for a Fallen Friend - a Villanelle

Updated on September 17, 2019
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects including education and creative writing.

The Man who once stood tall with the author during childhood.
The Man who once stood tall with the author during childhood. | Source

Can’t read the poem on the wall
The words reach too deep and leaves me raw,
for it was about a man who once stood tall.

It reminds me of that call
Just days after him I last saw.
Can’t read the poem on the wall.

I penned that poem without stall
and left the mourners in awe,
for it was about a man who once stood tall.

Years have passed and the pain’s never small
Even though this is life’s law.
Can’t read the poem on the wall.

Memories don’t fall.
And those words grasp him in my mind’s claw,
for it was about a man who once stood tall.

In those words I install,
a sacred picture they draw.
Can’t read the poem on the wall,
for it was about a man who once stood tall.

What is a Villanelle?

A Villanelle is a lyrical poem with some complex rules that incorporate rhymes and repetition in an alternating structure. It consists of:

• 19 lines

• two rhymes in six stanzas

• 1st and 3rd lines of the first tercet (three-lined stanza)reoccur and alternate through the rest of the poem.

• Five of the six stanzas are tercet. The last is a quatrain (four-lines)

• The Quatrains will contain the both repetition of the 1st and 3rd line of the poem.

It is a French-form poem that has been widely adapted by English writers. The verses are often described as "pastoral"; however, it has evolved to cover other subjects.

Possibly the most famous is Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night."

Dolphin in the Surf (the poem)
Dolphin in the Surf (the poem) | Source

Story Behind the poem

This poem is about a poem that was about a close, childhood friend who passed away in 2005. I had been asked to write something for his memorial service. The result was the elegy "Dolphin in the Surf".

His sisters and nieces made the final decorative touches to it. The poem was printed, placed on a poster board and adorned with two pictures from our youth.

Since that dark day in May, I've kept the poem in my classroom. I've had students and teachers standing before it, reading it, and contemplating what it had to say. In a sense, the poem took on a life of its own.

To this day, the poem is still posted, and the reactions from curious readers is often the same. Sadness, grief, and a lot of deep thoughts are evident in the small audience that reads it.

© 2014 Dean Traylor


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Jonas Rodrigo profile image

      Jonas Rodrigo 

      4 years ago

      I'm sure your friend was a great person. You are a great friend too, Dean.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A touching tribute to a friend in villanelle. I am off to read the original poem now.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)