The house is filled with books that lay unread
Moroccan leather bindings thick with dust,

for fear the truth will raise its hoary head.

These first editions steeped in printer’s lead
that should be treasured, cherished but it’s just
the house is filled with books that lay unread.

These shelves where clichéd angels dare not tread,
where fact and fiction both are left to rust,
for fear the truth will raise its hoary head.

Between the leaves of romance, crisp and dead,
amid the thrillers, mysteries and lust,
the house is filled with books that lay unread.

Compressed, controlled, contained, so word can’t spread,
where spineless villains creep there breeds mistrust,
for fear the truth will raise its hoary head.

Deep paper cuts where crimson ink has bled
across the creamy pages, once robust,
the house is filled with books that lay unread
for fear the truth will raise its hoary head.




Posted for One Shot Wednesday at the wonderful One Stop Poetry



Filed under Poetry, Villanelle

20 responses to “Bound

  1. Brendan

    Did the pic inspire the villanelle or vice versa? No matter … a house full of unread books (prized, expensively bound first editions) is a contradiction: A jail where the truth never gets a word in because no one bothers to read. Sad place. The line “the house is filled with books that lay unread” is perfectly bound to “for fear the truth will raise its hoary head.” Everything a book could appear to be is in plain sight, while nothing they are meant to be is allowed a single peep. Wonderful.

    Two poems in one day! Thy glass spills over! Glub glub glub!

    • The words always come first with me Brendan. It started with a comment ‘Moroccan leather bindings’. made by a poet/friend on a thread where we discussing the demon ‘Kindle’ and the danger of it replacing our treasured beautiful books but the piece grew to be about so much more than books. Yes two new poems in as many days, nothing unusual in that for me. I keep thinking my writing frenzy is going to come to an end but it continues still – let’s raise a glass and drink to that.

  2. It is a sad place where a bunch of books have never been read. It reminds me of the scary living rooms I don’t like to enter. The ones where everything matches and theres no sign of living. Yikes! You did write a great villenelle that inspired me to finally attempt one myself. I’ll say I really like this form. Once again your poem rocks but not as much as you do. lol Wasn’t that corn ball. 🙂

    • Corn ball hahaha you do make me giggle River. I’ll come check out your villanelle just as soon as I’ve gotten some sleep. It is my favourite of the old forms, Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle being my all time favourite poem. I live about a half hour drive from Laugharne where he lived. His little writing shed is still there as he left it, overlooking the beautiful Laugharne Estuary, such a tranquil place.

  3. Brendan

    Awwww, where’s the Rockpool header? The “Bound” pic makes for such a hoary hed, I do love those old old leatherbound books, especially missals and tiny books of poetry you can hold in one palm: but they don’t exactly exhale ocean exultations.

  4. I think the header changes depending which poem you click on Brendan but beautiful Coppett Hall Beach, which is a ten minute walk from house, reappears when you return to the Home tab.

  5. love books..

    beautiful sentiments expressed here…

    Please feel free to share 1 to 3 poems with our potluck poetry today, first time participants could use old poems or poems unrelated to our theme, Thanks..
    Happy Monday!

  6. You are a master at allusion and alliteration, love them both in this poem, especially this, “where spineless villains creep there breeds mistrust” — perfect, beautiful!!

    PS: Glad you were spotlighted on One Stop Poetry, you deserve the light!

  7. That’s why paperbacks rule! (LOL!)

    Congrats on the One Stop spotlight, Carys!

  8. Books were made to be read and nothing smells like a book that’s bound in leather and well thumbed, but I find the oddest things sexy. Wonderful job you did with this cleverly crafted villanelle hun, I’ll live with the papercuts over an ebook any day!

  9. A vivacious and lovely villanelle! Good touches of alliteration, and a fine dedication to the book! Goodness, first gracing us with your spotlighted self on One Stop today, and now with more of your lovely words – a pleasure as ever, my friend. Keep up the fine work.

  10. oh nice…i like the fear that truth might escape from them if read…i have so many books…boxes and boxes….but mostly read and maybe a few red from the papercuts…

  11. dustus

    Great title. “the house is filled with books that lay unread.” An unread book is a waste, for both reader and author. Excellent use of form. Catchy hook. “Compressed, controlled, contained, so word can’t spread” sounds like a revealing social comment to me.

  12. Gay

    I really enjoyed your spotlight too. I thought this was brilliant. I love the form and it seemed perfect in your choice of repetitions. I guess the books we’ve known and loved will come to live behind glass as we read word on glass or what seems like glass now. Strange new and intriguing world we’re moving into..or some of us. Many of my peers fear anything with a cord attached and anything electric even without one. I don’t think they wanted to leave the 1800s 🙂 Well done. Gay

  13. Wisely done, and so true. Loved your writing and your beautiful page!

  14. ok ok i admit it…you are damn good…hugs on this…pete

  15. Congrats on the excellent spotlight at OneShot, Julie, and on this poem. I like the way the form here hides as much as it reveals–when you want the lines to NOT repeat, but like Mona Lisa’s smile, they are telling you all they intend to and put the rest on the observer–as indeed they should. Nice work.

  16. As one who works around books, I loved your thought process on the ones left unread. Very nice work ~

  17. I know of no artist, writer or painter, who does now have what you have described here. We stand on the backs of giants, and the future will stand on ours. Brilliantly thoughtful my dear lady! ❤

  18. you’re brilliant…this is the second villanelle I’ve now read…and as a book collecting fiend with 4000 books in my home (so many unread), this poem screams at my obsession…I love this poem…the last two lines again have me hooked….I feel like I need to some day try this style…when I have words worthy of it.

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