Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

One key to an effective villanelle is good repeater lines that are able to carry a weight of meaning sufficient to prevent their growing tiresome and justify their coming together at the end in a final summation that leaves the reader with a sense of closure that no other form can match.  If I did not achieve that here in my second villanelle, I don’t think I ever will.  This one is highly appropriate for Good Friday.

"Gordon's Calvary"

“Gordon’s Calvary”


Villanelle # 2

And so the Seed was planted and it grew.

And thought it seemed an ordinary tree,

The Gardener knew what it was to do.

That every kind of bird that ever flew

Should nest upon its limbs was the decree,

And so the Seed was planted and it grew.

Though any reason why it should be true

Was more than men as yet had eyes to see,

The Gardener knew what it was to do.

Although the soil was dry, and rocky too,

The branches spread out strong and green and free:

And so the Seed was planted and it grew.

If growth so rich could be left to accrue—

But that was not the way it was to be;

The Gardener knew what it had to do.

Chop it down, a lifeless stump?  And who

Could see hope in such heartless husbandry?

But so the Seed was planted and it grew;

The Gardener knew what He had to do.

The Via Dolorosa

The Via Dolorosa

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD


About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on March 24, 2016, in Christianity, Donald Williams, Poetry, Theology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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