Wake up and raise the blinds, to see the light,
The colors; hark, the carols, feel the cheers
Emerging, from within this Holy Night.

Hear choirs of hope, in spirit, ‘mid your plight,
While you can’t see the star. Would one, in tears,
Wake up and raise the blinds to see the light?

True love, in absence, that can still unite,
Forgoes the hour to last throughout the years,
Emerging from within, this Holy Night.

Avoid the severed trees. Grow one that’s right
For you, that lasts and breathes so your air clears.
Wake up and raise that blind to see the light!

Trace out the roads of wisdom ‘neath the white,
Then, stepping forth, embrace your Hope, melt fears,
Emerging from within, this Holy Night.

You start to see the Star that makes life bright,
Yet few have eyes for it. So, help your peers,
Wake up and lead the blind… to see the light
Emerging from within, this Holy Night.



Daniel Magdalen is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Bucharest, in Romania.

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11 Responses

  1. Yael

    Wow, that’s a very beautiful poem that captures the Christmas spirit well. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you from Tennessee.

    • Daniel Magdalen

      Thank you very much. I indeed wanted to convey the Christmas spirit. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  2. C.B. Anderson

    You have done, Daniel, at least one of things that I’ve often implored writers of villanelles to do: alter punctuation in the repetends to create new meanings within a modified syntax using the same words. Compare these two lines:

    (S1,L3) Emerging, from within this Holy Night.

    (S3,L3) Emerging from within, this Holy Night.

    Changing the position of a single comma makes a world of difference. But since you have already figured this out, I am speaking more to would-be writers of villanelles to take note of this point. The craft of a villanelle lies not simply in sheer repetition, but more so in re-making the verbal material at one’s disposal.

    Also, I consider it proper, and in some instances imperative, to alter slightly the diction in order to create new possibilities of meaning, and so you have done:

    “Wake up and raise the blinds, to see the light” (S1,L1 etc.)

    ” Wake up and lead the blind … to see the light” (S6, L3)

    Well done.

      • Damian Robin

        Neatly done on a shining subject, Mr Magdalen! Nicely backed up with helpful tech commentary and examples, Mr Anderson!

      • Daniel Magdalen

        I also enjoy the way villanelles allow an idea to be more fully conveyed than other poetic structures do. Thank you very much!

      • Daniel Magdalen

        Mr Freeman and Mr Robin, I appreciate your kind words. And indeed, Mr Anderson’s comments on poetic techniques are very instructive.

  3. Margaret Coats

    Daniel, you not only manage the refrains well in this superb villanelle, but offer an effective exhortation to someone suffering some distressing plight as Christmas approaches. Your reasoning comes from several perspectives, but the following is expressed most beautifully:

    True love, in absence, that can still unite,
    Forgoes the hour to last throughout the years

    Through this consolation and your associated recommendations, your addressee can not only begin to see the Star, but profit from it to spread the light. Admirable!

    • Daniel Magdalen

      I appreciate your kind words as well as your insightful way of describing the messages that lie beyond the lines. Thank you very much.


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