Day 22 – A-Z Blog Challenge – ‘V’


Today we are lucky to have another very special guest, talented poet, Shirley Ann Cook. And Shirley kicks off our ‘V’ today with her poem Verdun.



Walk as far as you’re allowed.
‘Interdit. Verboten. Forbidden.’
For the earth still yields
a deadly iron harvest.

Stop and gaze around.
You’ll see green undulating hills,
but they were not always there.
A hundred years ago this place was blasted
with explosives and millions of shells.
In their wake a desert terrain
of pockmarks and craters,
brimmed with soldiers’ shattered remains.

Go there today and remember,
those lush mounds shroud a living hell.



Thank you Shirley for allowing us to share your very moving poem, Verdun.


About Shirley

Shirley Anne Cook is a poet and children’s author. She writes poetry for adults and children. Her poems have been published in a wide range of magazines and anthologies and have won or been placed in many competitions. Her first poetry collection, Turning the Map over is available for purchase on Amazon. She is a teacher and lives in Buckinghamshire.

You can find more about Shirley on her website  where she has lots more poems you can read and lists her many books written and their availability.


V – Visit 

This short little poem is one that I was inspired to write when waking from a dream shortly after I lost my mum.


The Visit

a dream last
night, you came to me
and blew in my ear, I spoke to
you but you never said my name.
I went back to sleep,
you returned


A couple of Poetic Terms

Villanelle – A villanelle is ‘a form, usually nineteen lines in length, consisting of five tercets and a quatrain. (John Drury, The Poetry Dictionary)

If you move back to ‘M’ on the A-Z you will find Magnificent Majesty which is a villanelle.

Versification – ‘The art of writing in lines; in particular, the technical aspects of doing so; rhythm and meter, rhyme, enjambment and end-stopping, alliteration and assonance.’ (John Drury, The Poetry Dictionary.)

Verse – ‘In a song, a stanza that has different words whenever the same music recurs.’ (John Drury, the Poetry Dictionary.)



4 thoughts on “Day 22 – A-Z Blog Challenge – ‘V’

  1. Anita April 25, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    Love the feeling in both of these poems. Verdun makes us remember those who are lost and times that should never be forgotten, no matter the beauty that we now see in the place of where horror once stood, and your own visit poem is just so personal. It tells of the ache we feel when we lose someone so close, their memory lingers but their voices cannot be heard.


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