Posted by: poet kate hutchinson | May 5, 2013

A Break-Up Villanelle

Well, it’s wobbly, but it’s finished — my first Villanelle.  It’s more like playing a word game than writing a poem, but that just makes it a different kind of challenge.  I’m sure it uses a different part of the brain than free verse does, too.

_____

Time to Leave

_____

I knew that it was time to leave.

While crying in an upstairs room,

it dawned on me I should not grieve.BarredOwl

___

Outside in darkness I perceived

an owl’s soft hoots under the moon.

She knew when it was time to leave.

___

Our love long dead, I could not cleave

to us one day more.  Yet mid-swoon

it dawned on me:  I could not grieve.

___

I wiped my eyes upon my sleeve.

Was not a world beyond this tomb?

Oh, yes, it’s long past time to leave.

___

So I determined I would weavenew leaves on branch

my narrative to newly bloom

at dawn.  For now, I would not grieve.

___

And since that day, I now believe,

I’m most content when I’m alone.

Like springtime boughs, I had to leaf.

Each dawn confirms it:  there’s no grief.

___

Here’s the rhyme scheme if you want to try your hand at a Villanelle.  The A’s and B’s must all rhyme (or come close).  Line A1 must stay essentially the same with each repetition, as must line A2…. but you can have fun making clever, slight changes with each one as the poem progresses.  Line length doesn’t matter, so long as you’re consistent with the length you choose.  My poem uses iambic tetrameter.

___

____________________________  A1

____________________________  b

____________________________  A2

___

____________________________  aword color

____________________________  b

____________________________  A1

___

____________________________  a

____________________________  b

____________________________  A2

___

____________________________  a

____________________________  b

____________________________  A1

___

____________________________  a

____________________________  b

____________________________  A2books

___

____________________________  a

____________________________  b

____________________________  A1

____________________________  A2

___


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