The Poetry Place

Villanelle Challenge

Friday, 21 December 2007 10:25:11

Friday, 21 December 2007 10:25:11

This is it!  Hope you like it.  More after Christmas!  (Just need a title...)


January's a time for resolutions new
I'll get my homework in on time.
Easy to say, harder to do.

I'll wait my turn, stand in the dinner queue.
Write out the title neatly, underline.
January's a time for resolutions new.

I'll do the washing up, the drying too.
Give the dog a bath and make his hair shine
Easy to say, harder to do.

I'll be in at 20 past, not 20 to.
I'll take a coat when it's not fine:
January's a time for resolutions new.

I did my best but between me and you
The days are long. I managed twenty-nine!
January's a time for resolutions new
It's easy to say, harder to do.



Villanelle Challenge

Tuesday, 18 December 2007 14:39:33

Tuesday, 18 December 2007 14:39:33

Verse five is usually where you bring the repeated lines together:

January's a time for resolutions new
It's easy to say, harder to do.

So it would become:
He did his best but between me and you
He asked too much of himself (or whatever this becomes)
January's a time for resolutions new
It's easy to say, harder to do.

I think the change to third person is a mistake. Back to 'I' -

I did my best but between me and you
The days are long. I managed twenty-nine!
January's a time for resolutions new
It's easy to say, harder to do.

Now I'll review the whole thing and see how I feel about it. Should have it finished by tomorrow.



Villanelle Challenge

Monday, 17 December 2007 12:58:14

Monday, 17 December 2007 12:58:14

Time to get away from school based resolutions to something closer to home...

I'll do the washing up, the drying too.
Give the dog a bath and make his hair shine
It's easy to say, harder to do.

I'll be in at 20 past, not 20 to.
I'll take a coat when it's not fine:
January's a time for resolutions new.

Hmm.  'The dog?' - surely it would have a name? And the stress seems to fall on 'his' if you're not careful. Happier with the next verse, reminds me of having to wear something inappropriate like a scarf or a raincoat, which even then was definitely not cool.

Next verse might take a different point of view:

He did his best but between me and you
He asked too much of himself...
- is what I'm getting at. But a rhyme for line 2? 



Villanelle Challenge

Friday, 14 December 2007 12:03:54

Friday, 14 December 2007 12:03:54

The pattern of a villanelle is very unusual in that lines 1 and 3 are repeated at the ends of alternate verses. And in the last verse they are repeated together to form the closing couplet. Don't ask why.

The good news is this gives me a skeleton around which to build and I know that the final line of verse 2 will be 'January's a time for resolutions new'. All I have to do is insert a couple of resolutions.

I'll wait my turn, stand in the dinner queue.
Write out the title neatly, underline.
January's a time for resolutions new.

The next verse will have 'It's eay to say, harder to do' as the last line. I have a job to do letting my mind play around with rhymes for 'oo' and 'ime/ine'. You shouldn't let the rhyme dictate the meaning of course - but within your chosen meaning, you can let it pick the concrete example or the particular expression to use. By Monday I'll have plenty of ideas!



A Villanelle Challenge

Thursday, 13 December 2007 11:46:32

Thursday, 13 December 2007 11:46:32

I have been set a challenge (well, I did ask) to write a villanelle on the topic of New Year resolutions.  So here goes.

The structure of a villanelle is very rigid and works around just two rhymes, so it's important to choose your first few lines with care. Lines are also repeated so they have to fit with the development of the poem all the way through. Each verse comprises three lines rhyming ABA.

Having said that, the repeat lines do give you a firm structure to work with, which I quite like.  I started with a straightforward

     January's a time for resolutions new

reckoning that new was easier to rhyme than resolutions!  I have decided to write from a school student's point ov view so the resolution might be:

     "I'll get my homework in on time."

(Time shouldn't be to hard to rhyme, especially if I accept 'ine' words too.)

And I can finish the verse with a truism:

     Easy to say, harder to do.

Given that I have both a pattern and a theme, I now need to come up with the content. In other words, the resolutions the person might make.



Teachers Not Well Versed

Tuesday, 11 December 2007 16:39:19

Tuesday, 11 December 2007 16:39:19

So says the TES reporting on what Ofsted says...

How do you come to that conclusion when in two-thirds of the schools it surveyed, poetry teaching was good or better? 

Then there is the criticism that teachers are 'teaching the same small number of poems, many of which were lightweight.'  Oh heaven forbid that we should share words just because they're fun! 

More on this in the Poetry Pub!

 



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