Villanelle

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Catherine Edmunds
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Posts: 428
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Villanelle

Postby Catherine Edmunds » Wed May 31, 2006 6:24 pm

The villanelle looks horribly complicated until you try to write it, at which point all the repetitions make you realise you don't have to write all that many different lines. There are only two different rhymes, so you need to take care to pick your first few lines carefully, all you'll quickly come unstuck. There is no shame in using a rhyming dictionary... honest.

Anyway, here's the scheme. There are nineteen lines, divided into five tercets and a final quattrain. In the following plan, upper case lines are identical to each other, lower case lines simply have to rhyme (a with a/A, b with b)

A1
b
A2

a
b
A1

a
b
A2

a
b
A1

a
b
A2

a
b
A1
A2


The fun starts when you try to make it all flow on logically without the grammar going lopsided because of the repetitions. The key is to keep it simple. Here's one I wrote a few months ago, done in my usual iambic pentameter, though that's not obligatory with this form.


Tongue in cheek villanelle

She spoke with tongue in cheek; he didn't hear
a single thing she said, he missed
the humour that she hid when he was near.

She chuckled, giggled, should she persevere,
or tell him what she meant? Should she assist?
She spoke with tongue in cheek; he didn't hear.

He thought that she could not have been sincere
to say such things. He never caught the twist,
the humour that she hid when he was near.

Communication breakdown looming here,
she told a joke. He caught her by the wrist --
she spoke with tongue in cheek; he didn't hear.

His anger grew. He slapped her on the rear
in fury at her joke; it made him pissed,
the humour that she hid when he was near.

She loved him still, he really was a dear,
then trying to be sensible, they kissed.
She spoke with tongue in cheek; he didn't hear
the humour that she hid when he was near.

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Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
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Postby Louis P. Burns aka Lugh » Wed May 31, 2006 7:59 pm

This should be fun Delph... I will give it a go soon mate.

Thanks for sharing :D
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