The Villanelle and You

roses6 days till Valentine’s Day!

Villanelles love repetition. I love you, I love you, I love you! Farafina, Farafina, Farafina.

Take a look at our example:

Villanelle of His Lady’s Treasures

Ernest Dowson

I took her dainty eyes, as well

As silken tendrils of her hair:

And so I made a Villanelle!

I took her voice, a silver bell,

As clear as song, as soft as prayer;

I took her dainty eyes as well.

It may be, said I, who can tell,

These things shall be my less despair?

And so I made a Villanelle!

I took her whiteness virginal

And from her cheek two roses rare:

I took her dainty eyes as well.

I said: “It may be possible

Her image from my heart to tear!”

And so I made a Villanelle.

I stole her laugh, most musical:

I wrought it in with artful care;

I took her dainty eyes as well;

And so I made a Villanelle.

The VERY brief rules of the Villanelle:

1)      The Villanelle is a poem of nineteen lines

2)      It has six stanzas

3)      There are two refrain lines

4)      The rhyme scheme is aba

How to write a Villanelle:

1)      Decide on your two refrain lines and make sure they rhyme. ‘I thought that she would be mine’ ‘but she dumped me on Valentine’

2)      Construct your first stanza. In choosing your middle line, make sure to choose a word that you can rhyme with easily:

‘I thought that she would be mine

She asked for a watch, I gave her two!

But she dumped me on Valentine’

3)      Each of your refrain lines will now play the role of the last line of your remaining stanzas, consecutively; except for the last stanza where both lines feature in the final two lines.

‘I thought that she would be mine

She asked for a watch, I gave her two!

But she dumped me on Valentine

She wanted a drink, I bought her wine

I hoped that she would be my boo

I thought that she would be mine

The dress I got her was sublime

And I got her the matching shoe

But she dumped me on Valentine

I told her that she was so fine

I asked what she would have me do

I thought that she would be mine

I saw a ring, I gave her nine

With so many she must stay true

But she dumped me on Valentine

I had her close, she was divine

She made me hot and cold and blue

I thought that she would be mine

But she dumped me on Valentine!’

Have fun creating your own villanelle!

For examples of more villanelles:

Elizabeth Bishop – One Arthttp://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15212

http://web.njit.edu/~ronkowit/poetsonline/archive/arch_villanelle.html

To keep track of our e-love blog fest, visit: https://farafinabooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/write-me-a-love-letter/

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One thought on “The Villanelle and You

  1. Pingback: Poetry in Flames, 3 Lines at a Time | Roof Pig! Most Unexpected.

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