The Ethereal Effect–A Collection of Villanelles
by Jeannie E. Roberts
31 poems ~ 46 pages
Price: $17.00
Publisher: Kelsay Books
ISBN: 978-1-63980-229-6
To Order: KelsayBooks, or Amazon.
Or through the author for signed copies,


The collection includes 31 villanelles with a range of subjects, including love, humor, nature, politics, etc. What is a villanelle? “The villanelle is a highly structured poem made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain, with two repeating rhymes and two refrains.” Source: Academy of American Poets,


As Jeannie E. Roberts puts it so well in one of the poems from this lovely new book, I can’t help but “bow to the presence and prevailing grace” of her attentive vision. The Ethereal Effect is composed entirely of villanelles, one of the most daunting and demanding forms in poetry. Yet sitting down with these pieces and their loving attention to the world was like reading from a sacred text. It’s impossible not to feel the deep spirit in these poems that calls us all “to shape the world anew.”
–James Crews, Poet and Editor of How to Love the World and The Path to Kindness

It requires an active and intelligent mind to not just recognize repetition, but to analyze it and understand how complex things can be when they are repeated. Nature, in all its wonder, is an endless source of repetition–the seasons, birth, growth, death, seed, plant, flower, fruit. Always the same, always slightly different. Jeannie has an enviable ability to take themes from nature, politics, people, peace, even an outhouse, and weave the repetitions she finds there into villanelles. It has been my pleasure to publish several of them; they are the perfect vehicle for her observant mind. There is a sense of gentleness sprinkled with humor in this collection that is inviting and refreshing. Well worth your time to read–and repeat.
–James E. Lewis (j. lewis), Editor and Author of a clear day in october, do you hear it?, leave a light on, and as if a caress plus several other chapbooks

In their clear delight in detail, music, and language, the villanelles in Jeannie E. Roberts’s newest collection The Ethereal Effect remind us of the beauty and power of this traditional form. Some depict traditional pastoral subjects like gardens, birds, and love, while others range from UFOs and pandemic dreams to odes to outhouses, martinis, and beer. My favorites play with language, with one villanelle devoted, fittingly, to words beginning with “v” and another honoring the diphthong. In its mastery of form and impressive range of subject and tone, this collection demonstrates Roberts’s versatility as a poet, as well as her attentive eye, quick wit, and care for the natural world.
–Holly J. Hughes, Author of Passings, Winner of an American Book Award


Jeannie E. Roberts has authored eight books, six poetry collections and two illustrated children's books. Her most recent collection is titled The Ethereal Effect–A Collection of Villanelles, (Kelsay Books, 2022). Her poems appear in Anti-Heroin Chic, Blue Heron Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Panoply, Quill and Parchment, Silver Birch Press, Sky Island Journal, Verse-Virtual, Visual Verse, Writing In A Woman’s Voice, and elsewhere. She’s an artist, animal lover, a nature enthusiast, and a Best of the Net award nominee. She also serves as a poetry editor for the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. She finds peace outdoors, listening to birds, identifying plants, and noticing Earth’s beauty while practicing gratitude along the way.


Recall the Milkweed
by Jeannie Roberts

Where timothy lifts and trifolium spills–
the grasslands ripple as dragonflies dart.
Recall the milkweed, where the monarch thrills.

Here, solace grows near the moss laden rills–
harmony flows, extends light, allays dark,
where timothy lifts and trifolium spills.

The hermit thrush sings its silver bell trills–
the field exalts where the meadow meets lark.
Recall the milkweed, where the monarch thrills.

Smooth asters cluster in ray floret frills–
lushness radiates like Claude Monet’s art,
where timothy lifts and trifolium spills.

The pastures enrapture as do the hills–
like balm, Mother Nature soothes weary hearts.
Recall the milkweed, where the monarch thrills.

Our planet’s fraught with humanity’s ills–
still, health will return when we do our part,
where timothy lifts and trifolium spills.
Recall the milkweed, where the monarch thrills.

*First published in Verse-Virtual


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