Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Writing a Villanelle

When crafting a villanelle, I start with the 1st and 3rd lines. Because they are repeated throughout the poem, they are basically the building blocks of the villanelle. The 1st and 3rd lines rhyme. Keep in mind that the villanelle also ends with these lines. Perhaps, the best villanelles play with the meaning of these lines. The close of the poem with these two lines should drive home the message of the poem or offer a slightly different perspective.

Meter is not considered inherently important for this form. The focus of the villanelle is the repetition. The repetion is a tool of emphasis.

Here is another example of the villanelle. Notice how the 1st and 3rd lines are repeated and rhymed with other lines. The second line of each stanza rhymes.


Halo-gleam illusion
blinds doubt and true judgment.
You’ve built a delusion.

You sketch bright confusion-
attempts to represent
halo-gleam illusion.

Wiley ways in fusion-
actualization bent.
You’ve built a delusion.

Evil heart allusion
to your early torment.
Halo-gleam illusion

Conceit in diffusion-
to mankind you descent.
You’ve built a delusion.

Self-deceit conclusion
falls prey to lies content.
Halo-gleam illusion-
you’ve built a delusion.

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