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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fixed Poetry Form: The Villanelle

The villanelle is another one of those fixed poetry forms like the Pantoum that has a repeating line structure throughout. I like this form because the repeating lines tend to carry great weight as the poem is read. While it has been around for some time, Dylan Thomas made the villanelle renowned with his piece, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night with that unforgettable line Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

It is usually made up of five tercets and an ending quatrain with just two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The first and third lines of the beginning tercet are the refrains that repeat thru the poem and also end it. Its construction is as follows:

A1 (refrain one)
b
A2 (refrain two)

a
b
A1 (refrain one)

a
b
A2 (refrain two)

a
b
A1 (refrain one)

a
b
A2 (refrain two)

a
b
A1 (refrain one)
A2 (refrain two)

This form is challenging but it will definitely strengthen your ability to convey meaning.

Restoration

Sedentary dreams put the soul in traction,
motivation buried under the weight of woe;
courage, the mortar binding hope to action.

Self pity a welcomed satisfaction,
inspiration now turning into a foe,
Sedentary dreams put the soul in traction.

Mediocrity the mind’s newest attraction
to a life that fears uncertainty’s plateau,
courage, the mortar binding hope to action.

Is chasing one’s passion a lost abstraction?
Caught in the waves of reality’s undertow,
sedentary dreams put the soul in traction.

When catering to the will of distraction,
at procrastination you become a pro,
courage, the mortar binding hope to action.

Seize the now moments and destroy inaction,
upon your heart, childhood ambition bestow.
Sedentary dreams put the soul in traction.
Courage, the mortar binding hope to action.

© 2010 dasuntoucha

5 comments:

  1. very interesting form.
    10q for sharing!

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  2. I love villanelles! Good job. I like this one.

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  3. This is a very difficult form to master, very intimidating. (For me anyway).

    You have written a lovely piece.

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  4. You have mastered this form and use it well. I'm with Paul, it intimidates me. But I suppose that is the challenge and the fascination. Good work:)

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  5. Without courage we will never move forward. It takes strength to put your will in breaking out of our inactive state of suspension...

    ReplyDelete