« Week #233 - IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG »

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Date: 1-18-2017
Word Limit: 300
Words Written: 3,937

Judges (crits):

Audio Recap: Week 233
Week Archivist:

As I was using a little elbow grease to scrub last week's sticky soul residue off the throne, I got to thinking it's been a while since we had a dedicated poetry round. Your challenge this week: Write me a villanelle!

The villanelle has a specific form which wikipedia details just fine, but here's an example to help you along further:

    Sylvia Plath posted:
    Mad Girl's Love Song

    I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
    I lift my lids and all is born again.
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)

    The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
    And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
    I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

    I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
    And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)

    God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
    Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
    I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

    I fancied you'd return the way you said,
    But I grow old and I forget your name.
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)

    I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
    At least when spring comes they roar back again.
    I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)

Your villanelle's structure and rhyme scheme must accord with the traditional rules as laid out in wikipedia with two exceptions:

1) Notice Sylvia Plath didn't rhyme the final word of the each stanza's second line with each other. You don't have to either unless you want to, despite what wikipedia says.

2) Some poets get real cute by altering the refrains (the repeating parts) slightly throughout the poem and they can go fuck themselves slowly, THAT DOUCHEBAGGERY WILL NOT BE PERMITTED HERE. Your two repeating lines must not change at all throughout the poem, not even in terms of punctuation, even though wikipedia says you can do it.

Other things to keep in mind:

- Apart from getting the structure right, the most important thing is to have a solid first stanza since the first and last of its lines are going to echo throughout the poem. Those lines better be good.

- It's great when the context that surrounds the repeated lines evolves over the course the poem, or the meaning of those lines changes even though the words themselves stay exactly the same.

- The subject of your villanelle can be whatever you want, but NO erotica or fanfic.

23 Total Submissions, 1 Total Failures:

Failures who signed up but did not submit: