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Jan's Poetry Class--Villanelle

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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glorybee
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Postby glorybee » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:52 pm

Oh Yvonne--if this is what you come up with when you're not in a poetic mood...well, I'm just jealous, that's all. Very nice, kind of a wistful mood that really appeals to me. Thanks!
Jan Ackerson

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Postby pheeweed » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:30 pm

Yvonne, I can only sit back in admiration. I love your poen. I wish I could do that.

Phee
Phee
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http://www.delightedmeditations.blogspot.com

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 NLT

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Postby swfdoc1 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:47 pm

Jan, you mentioned a class or two ago that you wondered whether you were making things too hard since there weren't that many submissions for some of the forms. My response was that I thought you were explaining things very clearly. I still think that, but some of the forms THEMSELVES are just hard.

Since there are not many poems posted yet this week--but the ones that are posted are WONDERFUL--I will post an old one of mine. If I get time later to do a new one, I will.

In the broken record department, this is my villenelle from my old Summerentry:

First Kisses at Thirteen (1964)

I met you at the summer’s height.
I thrilled at every bright long day
And cherished every too short night.

The maiden and her shining knight:
Sir Galahad—I’ll always say
I met you at the summer’s height.

Each day my hope of love grew bright.
At dusk two children stole away
And cherished every too short night,

Your hand found mine ’neath pale moonlight,
As much a child as on the day
I met you at the summer’s height.

One night you turned and held me tight.
’Twas then I gave my heart away
And cherished every too short night.

Next night your lips brushed mine so slight.
“O, let him kiss me more,” I prayed.
I met you at the summer’s height
And cherished every too short night.


I don't have a lot to say about how I proceeded beyond what others have said about how they proceeded: pick words with lots of rhymes!

I can add just this. If you read the Summer entry, you will see that part of what I tried to do with the cycle was make the first poem (which was the villanelle) be the longest. That put me onto the idea of the "height of summer." I couldn't use summer, bummer, dumber (!); so I switched to "summer's height" and could use all those good rhymes. The idea of days and nights gave we another word with lots of rhymes. The next biggest problem was portraying the right sense of innocence, both age-wise and stage-of-relationship-wise. Early drafts missed the mark, but I THINK the language of children/child and "lips so slight" (the reality) vs. maiden and knight/"kiss me more" (the fantasy) struck the note I was going for.
Steve
nlf.net
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"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle
things are gone." C.S. Lewis
“The chief purpose of life … is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis ... We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendor.” J.R.R. Tolkien

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Postby Verna » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:55 pm

Jan, I loved the construction of the villanelle; so I thought I'd try a Christmas one. Thanks for all the new ideas you present to us to try.
I liked the way Dylan Thomas did it--so I went with that form.

My Favorite Story to Hear

It came upon the midnight clear,
When angels sang with harps of gold
My favorite story to hear.
For Heaven’s King they came so near,
And glorious words angels told.
It came upon the midnight clear.
Their tidings were of hope and cheer,
The message of Christmas they told,
My favorite story to hear.
Their song was peace, love without fear,
This wonderful story of old.
It came upon the midnight clear.
And now in times of dark and drear,
We still hear the message so bold,
My favorite story to hear.
The promised king will reappear;
This prophecy angels foretold.
It came upon the midnight clear,
My favorite story to hear.
Verna

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine...
Proverb 17:22

Facebook author page: Verna Cole Mitchell
http://www.magnificomanuscripts.com/

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Allison
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Postby Allison » Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:29 pm

Okay. I don't know if this one qualifies as a true Villanelle, because I'm not is has "a specific and consistent meter." I've got another idea brewing, using the same "b" line as this one, that I may try some other time here. :) This one kind of combines Christmas and Easter.

Unto us a child is born
The Savior who will set us free
He is the one who took our scorn.

Mary lies there, tired and worn
We adore on bended knee
Unto us a child is born

Upon his head a crown of thorns,
He has listened to our plea
His is the one who took our scorn.

The angels answered with their horns,
The shepherds in their fields so green,
Unto us a child is born.

His death upon the cross we mourn
He suffered there upon the tree
His is the one who took our scorn.

He rose again on that third morn,
A day that's always filled with glee
Unto us a child is born,
He is the one who took our scorn.
Image
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)

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Postby yvonne » Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:51 pm

Oh, I like those! It's like have a Christmas program on FW!

:angel2

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the sky was full of miracles

Postby OldManRivers » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:19 pm

the sky was full of miracles on that starry night,
a father prayed, a mother cried, a baby came to be,
and the earth below, God’s grace did know, in the glow of heaven’s light.

as shepherds gazed into the stars, the angels filled their sight,
a song was sung, a hope was born, a vision they did see,
the sky was full of miracles on that starry night.

as the land felt the sword of a conquering army’s might,
a people wept, a prophet spoke,all waited to be free,
and the earth below, God’s grace did know, in the glow of heaven’s light.

as the magi made their course across the seas of desert white,
a scribe foretold, a king deceived, a turn in history,
the sky was full of miracles on that starry night.

into a world so gone astray God sought to make it right,
a dream began, a kingdom rose, and the darkness it did flee,
and the earth below, God’s grace did know, in the glow of heaven’s light.

to Bethlehem so long ago, the angels made their flight,
a world was changed, all life transformed, by love and charity,
the sky was full of miracles on that starry night,
and the earth below, God’s grace did know, in the glow of heaven’s light.



I begin with the last two lines and build from there, being every mindful of "the music" found in those two lines.
May God's gentle grace be with you.

Jim McWhinnie

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Postby yvonne » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:29 pm

Another Christmas one!

That's a good way of doing it, Jim.

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Postby glorybee » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:30 pm

Sorry I haven't been around much to comment on these villanelles. It's been a crazy busy weekend, and tomorrow promises to be the same. Will be back Tuesday with comments and encouragement! Keep writing poems!
Jan Ackerson

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