Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Poetry » General


The Good Men

by niteowl

The good men say that I have gone insane,
But surely I am all that is real.
The truth that they know can only cause pain.

I hide a secret world inside my brain
Where beauty reigns and darkness cannot feel
The good men say that I have gone insane.

I washed away sins in a bathtub drain.
On that day I first knew death's appeal.
The truth that they know can only cause pain.

They say spring morning, I see acid rain.
Its downpour can dissolve even steel.
The good men say that I have gone insane,

Does fire burn when from its light you gain?
Get too close and your wounds will never heal.
The truth that they know can only cause pain.

They hold me captive, blessed with faithful zeal
But cursed to live in their most boring wheel.
The good men say that I have gone insane.
The truth that they know can only cause pain.

Author's Note: The form is a villanelle, which is rather strict. If you're not familiar with it, more info here: I used to help me with rhymes and syllable counts.

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
482 Reviews

Points: 4349
Reviews: 482

Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:34 pm
Meshugenah wrote a review...

Tae! Villanelles. My favorite!

On the form itself, I think you’ve managed to be really deft with it – especially considering how easy it is for these to get choppy, rather than rolling (oh dear, I may be mixing my metaphors at bit, here).

I like how you took “washed away sins”, which on its own is rather trite, and added “in a bathtub drain.” The concrete image helps to ground a phrase that otherwise I’d be disappointed with! Instead, I rather like it. I also really like “The good men say that I have gone insane.” Just a lovely bit of scene/scenario setting that says so much with so little. Actually, I just really like your two repeated lines.

My real question for you is why do you have each line as its own sentence? I ended up mostly ignoring the periods, because they break this up much more than I like – was that your intention, to break it up? If so, then you’ve definitely achieved that. If not, then go play with the punctuation more!

There’s a few places I think you can really take your imagery up a level – for instance, with the third stanza, your second line I think tells far too much. I’d love to see something that shows instead, maybe something morbid/grotesque, about blood chasing sin or something like that. That gives actions and color, rather than the narrator telling us, “I am suicidal,” in flowery language.


User avatar
331 Reviews

Points: 10565
Reviews: 331

Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:30 pm
Blackwood wrote a review...

I really like this. I am not familiar with the style and had a bad experience with reviews this one time in which I was very embarrassed. The whole thing I really don't have much to say. I really like it, but I am not speechless. Its great but its not the most amazing thing I have read. I love the idea behind it because I have had similar thoughts myself. if anything you could try to connect to the reader more, maybe try from the same perspective but write it second person or be less direct about the narrators own state. I really don't have much more to say than this but to keep it up and try different things. I often rewrite things from past tense to present tense and mix it around until i find my favorite one.

User avatar
212 Reviews

Points: 17956
Reviews: 212

Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 am
ScarlettFire wrote a review...

Hey there, Niteowl. Scarlett here to review your poetry this afternoon! <3

This is a good piece for an experiment, Niteowl. But it's also a good example of why I don't use structure in poetry. XD It's too limited, wayy too strict, and I'd definitely be banging my head against the keyboard if I attempted this. The rhyming is driving me insane. Really, it is. It's so, so bad. I really don't like it. At all. It's very much lacking something. Plus, the rhyming feels very poor, very immature. Like I said; it's bad.

On the other hand, I do like the imagery you're trying to give us here. It's an interesting concept, and I'm sure if you didn't have any structure, it's make for a far more appealing poem.

I really love this line;

The good men say that I have gone insane

I like how you repeat it, but the rest of the poem lacks the spark that makes a reader go "Wow", if you know what I mean. I also agree with dragonrider; it is awkward in places.

I also like this line;

Where beauty reigns and darkness cannot feel

It's pretty cool. And I think these two lines I like should be in a free-formed poem. It's definitely make a difference, not having the structure a villanelle has.

I also agree on the flow; other than a few places where it was awkward, the flow was, indeed, pretty good. I've still got a problem with the rhyming words (so cheesy in places and not really that brilliant or anything) but I do like the concept. I know this is for the writing gooder thing, and I hope you win (cause really, brilliant concept), but I'm afraid I can't handle the structured rhyming. It just seems really bad to me. I know I've already said that a few times, so I'll shut up now. XD

Now, I don't really have anything else to say. Your flow is brilliant, the structured rhyming not so good and I don't think that anything else needs improvement. In fact, there's not much else I can comment and crit here now. I can suggest doing a free-form version and seeing how that works. Let me know if you do! I'd love to read it~

Thanks for the interesting poetry, Niteowl! I hope this review helps, somehow. ^^

Remember; keep it up and never stop writing!

~Scarli. <3

User avatar
75 Reviews

Points: 2667
Reviews: 75

Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:30 am
dragonrider wrote a review...

This was a good piece. It's interesting to read in the villain's perspective. I don't really see anything to criticize. There were a couple places were a couple words were a little awkward, but it was very minor. Other than a couple areas, the poem had a very good flow. The beginning caught my attention immediately, and kept my attention until the very end. Good organization.
"I washed away sins in a bathtub drain.
On that day I first knew death's appeal.
The truth that they know can only cause pain." These were my favorite lines.
I love the progression of the villain.
This was an excellent piece. I like it more and more each time I read it.
Honestly, I would have liked to read more, but the length was good.
Fantastic ending.
Keep on writing!

User avatar
53 Reviews

Points: 82
Reviews: 53

Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:08 am
Killyouwithwords wrote a review...

I HOPE YOU WIN :) This poem is awesome and I'm happy I get to be the first one to review it, though I don't know much about villanelles. I followed your link however, and that was helpful :) This was a wonderful poem about resisting authority and the beauty in finding a safe haven inside one's imagination. I didn't find any errors whatsoever, or anything I didn't like, which will make this review pretty brief but I want say that I love your writing style and how well you make the lines flow. I can't pick my favorite line because I loved them all. Great Job; and once again I hope you win the contest! :)

Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
— C. Northcote Parkinson