Villanelle

I may have mentioned about twenty times that I’m not the biggest fan of poetry. While I occasionally enjoy reading it, my attempts to write it are few and far between. Since leaving school and enforced poetry writing behind, I think I’ve written about two. Three including the one I wrote today.

If you can count something so terrible it’s just laughable.

It was as part of Official Writer’s Club that we were tasked to write a Villanelle. (Carole’s responsibility, as she was elected group leader for the session.) A villanelle is a very specific structure of poem, with repeated lines and rhyme patterns, just to complicate things.

These are the instructions for writing them, as given to us in the session.

The Villanelle

1.   It has nineteen lines.

2.   It has five stanzas (verses), each of three lines and a final one of four lines.

3.   The first line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the second and fourth stanzas.

4.   The third line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the third and fifth stanzas

5.   These two ‘refrain’ lines follow each other to become the last two lines of the poem.

6.   The rhyme scheme is aba. The rhymes are repeated according to the refrains.

While attempting to write one in Writer’s Club, we took the tactic of choosing words with lots of rhymes. ‘Ere’ is a good sound, as many different letter combinations make the same sound (pair, tear, mare etc) but even with that on our side, as we ran out of sensible words to use, suggestions for our poem went completely ridiculous.

There’s also the difficulty in making it make sense. Your repeating lines have to be vague enough to work in four different verses, while trying to tell a sort of story.

The most famous example is Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas. And in keeping with that depressing tone, I wrote this. Please forgive my poetic incompetence, and remember this is way outside my comfort zone. Also, don’t read if you have an blades nearby… The depressingly emo tone may just push you over the edge!

Cloudy Skies, Pouring Rain

I am on my own again
You’re no longer there
The cloudy skies, the pouring rain

Night’s grief flows down my window pane
While I just sit and stare
I am on my own again

Things will never be the same
In this house that we did share
The cloudy skies, the pouring rain

This thin veneer I can’t maintain
The facade will start to tear
I am on my own again

My anguish I cannot contain
My soul will soon lay bare
The cloudy skies, the pouring rain

Ever now shall misery reign
I’ll drown in my despair
I am on my own again
The cloudy skies, the pouring rain.

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