Old Soldier

Old Soldier

A Poem by Mark

This is my first Villanelle, a format I discarded a decade ago, as the repeated lines made the read seem almost trite; I may have to reconsider!



Now, from the Field I'm fin'ly sent

And view my Soldiers, sick with Woe

My Fame and Fortune all are spent!


I cannot tell you where it went,

Nor how it did so swiftly go:

Now, from the Field I'm fin'ly sent...


My Fury, it will not relent,

Yet I cannot find aught to throw;

My Fame and Fortune all are spent!


I cannot e'en afford my rent!

What next transpires, I do not know.

Now, from the Field, I'm fin'ly sent...


From Brussels to Bruges, then on to Ghent,

I tread, forlorn, in knee-deep Snow--

My Fame and Fortune all are spent.


God seeks, I think, that I repent--

'til then, His Wrath will o'er me blow.

Now, from the Field, I'm fin'ly sent:

My Fame and Fortune All are spent!


March 6, 2009, 3:20 am

© 2012 Mark

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This looks fine to me however, I have one small comment. Your use of the apostrophe to maintain an 8 syllable metre is I feel unnecessary (fin'lly and ev'n) Here I feel you can leave it to your reader to adjust his reading to the ideal fow in a sort of compromise which respects, but frees us from slavery to, metre. Markymark may disagree - if he's listening, I'd like to hear his opinion. I too anm only learning - as are we all.
To me, the definitive V. will always be Dylan Thomas's 'Do not go gentle into that good night' (10) and he varied his metre somewhat.
I felt that your villanelle, because of its subject and its repetitions within proper form paid a very fitting tribute to the generation of wonderful young men of WW1, or the poor misled wretches who followed Napoleon to Moscow but never arrived, even the ordinary soldiers of Germany who had no options. All suffered so much at the evil hands of the power mad and the incompetent.


Posted 12 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.


Astounding write my friend, you are truly gifted with the villanelle form. I am glad I dropped in on this one, it fits the form so well.

Posted 7 Years Ago

form for me is a hard sell - I'm lazy when I pen poetry and I usually ignore all manner of rules. But when I read I do appreciate all different types of form. This one - with the repeating lines gives the work a lyrical feel - a minstrel type piece which is wonderful.

Posted 8 Years Ago


8 Years Ago

For me it's a mental exercise: "Can I be confident enough of the feelings that I can adequately resh.. read more
Oh I so adore your Villanelle, amazing word choices and I loved very much so your visual imaginary, a most delightful read, your each eloquent word flowed so smoothly, I love to read villanelle's but don't get to see to many of them, pure excellence pours form your every word here and I am so glad that you recommend the poem, I've written a few of these and added another one in today, as well as some other poems as well, I feel this is such a wonderful tribute to those lost soldiers whom so bravely fought for us, thanks ever so kindly for sharing and so brilliantly written xoxo

Posted 8 Years Ago


8 Years Ago

(what's the emoticon for "blushing furiously? lol!)
Thank you for your exorbitant praise, She... read more

8 Years Ago

Now you just made me smile, my actual name is Debbie, I use shewolf as a pen name, online... althoug.. read more
Very cool villanelle and once again your choice of words is fascinating.

Posted 8 Years Ago


8 Years Ago

Thank you Jack. I think you and I are gonna get along jes fine!
Mark, a great job on this first attempt Villanelle, much enjoyed the rhyme scheme you chose, kudos!!

Posted 9 Years Ago

This is really great. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. This flow and structure are truly brilliant.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Too often we revere the idea of the soldier without recognizing the reality of the soldier. Your villanelle is a fitting tribute to the brave of yesteryear. I could never be a soldier- I will and do risk death for what I believe in, but I choose the fight. I cannot imagine being sent to die for a worthless cause on someone else's command, unless it be the Creator's; although I do know how a non-heroic return from the field feels. I agree with some of the comments that the apostrophe use feels a little forced, but overall this reads beautifully. The style you chose helps drive the point home.

Posted 10 Years Ago

A classic beauty! The topic, close my heart. The flow, it rolled effortlessly.
A beautiful poem, Mark.

Posted 11 Years Ago

You know Mark, I have been reading a lot of First World War poetry of late, this resounds to me for that reason as well as internally:) It may have a completely different meaning but we all get a different meaning from poetry:) lol

There are excellent metaphors within this, and I personally, do not think it needs rethinking, its a powerful, poignant write! xx

Posted 11 Years Ago

Your rhyme and meter are consistent, and I think it adds to the repetition of the point. I also liked the break from three lines per stanza to four at the very end. The mere presence of the line gives it a POOF! that drives your repeated line in, giving it more emphasis that the other line you repeat.

I found that many writings with technical perfection have had their meaning taken away by said perfection, though you've actually twisted technical perfection to your advantage.

One final thing: I now see why you are a stickler for meter and rhyme.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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36 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on March 6, 2009
Last Updated on September 20, 2012



Las Vegas, NV

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