3.1 Villanelle (Prep)

Posted: April 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

~from “One Art,” by Elizabeth Bishop

*

I have no idea why I chose villanelles as this week’s learning experience. Perhaps because I’m already poetry-stuck, burnt out on poetry from the Poem-A-Day event in April. Perhaps because I was just reading a really interesting article about poetic forms. Perhaps because my other choices included: Drawing Dragons (harder than it looks and I just forced you to watch drawing last week), Letting Go (which would have included such topics as Making The Divorce Legal and What To Do When Your Parents Are Pissed At You For Said Divorce, neither of which I am ready to tackle in any form), and How to Spend Your Tax Refund (which has not arrived yet, so it would more about dreaming than doing).

Thus: I offer you learning the villanelle. The villanelle, like the sestina, is a slightly ridiculous poetry form that has been around forever and ever, despite its ridiculousness (or perhaps because of its ridiculousness, like those little dogs-in-baskets that yap too much and anything in bright orange lycra). It’s highly structured and it rhymes — both things that I am very very horrible at when it comes to writing poetry.

So, bring on the week of the villanelle (and possibly a sestina or two). Since I seem to be a glutton for punishment this week!

The Form

A1 (refrain)
b
A2 (refrain)
a
b
A1 (refrain)
a
b
A2 (refrain)
a
b
A1 (refrain)
a
b
A2 (refrain)
a
b
A1
A2 (refrain)

*

Villanelle Tips & Tricks

Wiki Villanelle

The Poetic Form: Villanelle

Poetry Forms: Villanelle

Forms of Verse: The Villanelle

Firing your neurons, one line at a time, s.

*

“The sestina, in other words, is ridiculous. But more than 800 years since its invention, the form survives—and some might even say it thrives.” ~Daniel Nester, from his article “Confessions of a Sestina Editor.”

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