Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Nathanael O'Reilly #1 No One Ever Comes to Visit

No One Ever Comes to Visit

No one ever comes to visit;
perhaps it’s not worth the airfare.
The culture is hardly exquisite.

Friends prefer to come in spirit.
The food is quite terrible here,
thus no one ever comes to visit.

The museum is hosting an exhibit,
but it’s temporary, and to be fair
the culture is hardly exquisite.

Spending time here is not requisite
when life can be lived elsewhere,
thus no one ever comes to visit.

Who wants to purchase a ticket
and spend fifteen hours in the air
when the culture is hardly exquisite?

There is certainly nothing to prohibit
spending time with those held dear,
but no one ever comes to visit.
The culture is hardly exquisite.


  1. Villanelle? I like it Nathanael and you do a good job with the rhyme, but I feel that villanelles work best when heavy with irony so I might add in something to make the irony more explicit. I’m taking it that the irony is that our food and culture are just fine - it’s the statements that are wrong. So you might have a stanza about the focus of the irony - who says our culture isn’t exquisite and our food is bad? Can we see them in this poem?

  2. Thanks for your comments, Magdalena. I hardly ever use forms, but have started experimenting with villanelles lately. The poem is written from an American perspective and it's about Australian family and friends not coming to visit. I didn't want to get too specific, to use first person or have a "woe is me" tone. I will try to work on the irony. I was imagining the speaker as being a bit of a Prufrock. The criticisms of the food and culture are based on actual comments from those that have visited :)

    1. Of course if it’s the US, you can always make a certain incumbent president the villain (thereby creating a villain-elle :-). There is a great podcast about the form on the now sadly defunct Poetica which you’ve probably heard here:

    2. Many thanks, Magdalena. I'm listening to the podcast right now. And I am determined to keep The Orange One out of my poetry ...

  3. It's not clear that you're talking about the US but doesn't matter. I think the repetition works well.