Villanelles are tricky poems to craft successful, but Bleakney does an excellent job here in 'The Misunderstanding'. Sentences and lines of thought continue across stanzas, instead of the sudden endings usually created through the repeated lines of a villanelle. The B rhymes are loose but clever ('weather', 'discover', etc). The slight amendment of "nobody ever thought / stopped / dared to say" accumulates into a final sense of helplessness, balanced by the idea of someone breaking free.
In 'The Land of Counterpane Revisited', the speaker is going her own way, seemingly awarding herself with a duvet day. The promise of literature, relaxation, protection from a cold January morning, is at hand. However, the speaker is suddenly stuck by an epiphany somehow found amidst the contours of her bedspread. Naturally, the reader asks how books could be tunnels and seagulls; perhaps these are just things to get lost in too.