Villanelles Semester 2

Villanelles have alternately been called “the poet’s Mount Everest” (The Practice of Creative Writing by Heather Sellers) and “cat in the hat stuff” (Michael Grant, musician and GCAA senior). Villanelles were:

  • A very popular form in France in the seventeenth century
  • Developed in Italy, the pattern for old Italian folk songs

So how are villanelles relevant to young poets today? 

  • Two reasons.
  • Form is content and
  • Ironically, rules breed creativity

Speaking of form… 

  • Villanelles have a VERY specific form:
  • Six stanzas, five three-line stanzas (tercets) and one four-line stanza (quatrain)
  • Two refrains that rhyme (line A1 and line A2)
  • A specific rhyme scheme, As rhyme with As, Bs rhyme with Bs

Some famous villanelles include:

Here are some of the villanelles that the GCAA creative writing cohort created:

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 11.44.56 AM 

Brain Vs. Me

You’re doing too much.
Shut up you do understand.
You shut up stop using me as a crutch.

But using you is just so clutch.
I can’t do as much as you can.
You doing too much.

I miss my boyfriend’s touch.
Shut up you don’t miss that man.
You shut up stop using me as a crutch.

I miss seeing him and such.
Maybe you do miss that man.
You doing too much.

Crap! What about college and such.
I know I know money is a pain man.
You shut up stop using me as a crutch.

But using you is so clutch.
You’re hurting me just do what you can!
You’re doing to much!
You shut up stop using me as a crutch.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 11.34.19 AM

Villanelle

The world hates a confident girl.
Cross your legs, be quiet and don’t shout.
Strip her down until she fits into this world.

Don’t dream of jobs put on a dress and twirl.
And when you don’t become the boss please don’t pout.
The world hates a confident girl.

Though you are a gem, diamonds and pearls.
You’ll clean long days without a doubt.
Strip her down until she fits in this world.

Tie up your hair, those beautiful curls.
Cover your curves, “Now that’s what I’m talking about”.
The world hates a confident girl.

An emotional, crazy violent swirl.
Wanting to spill from your spout.
Strip her down until she fits into this world.

The years are changing in a whirl.
But I still own you without a doubt.
The world hates a confident girl.
Strip her down until she fits into this world.

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Villanelle

Be cold water for your burning sun
For his unyielding position is the key
To the rest of the burned out loved ones

Don’t be gullible cause he’s as wise as the oldest sea
Let your cool wade through as he’s living,
So be the cold water for your burning sun

The only heat that’s representing you and me
Your job must be done well so you’re not outliving
To the rest of the burned out loved ones

Do your job cautiously so his hue doesn’t resemble black tea
And if you bring shivers it will force it will force his light to go golding
So be the cold for your burning sun

Now don’t be such a breeze for flames will often flee
And together you two can twirl to become a spiral spring
To the rest of the burned out loved ones

If you have achieved all then your sun is now free
Cause remember in the end he is your male offspring
Be cold for your burning sun
to the rest of the burned out loved ones

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Inner Critic

You’ll never be this or that
pleas the voice in her head
You’re as cheap and worn as an old hat

The voice takes the air out of her, like a soda gone flat
The first thing she hears when she gets out of bed
You’ll never be this or that

Sometimes she goes to bat
with the voice, eyes turned red
You’re as cheap and worn as an old hat!

But the voice comes back
in the softest of whispers it says
You’ll never be this or that

 The voice cuts her open like the claws of a cat
Makes sure her insecurities are well fed
You’re as cheap and worn as an old hat

“You’re a piece of crap!”
She yells at the voice, but the voice comes back from the dead:
You’ll never be this or that
You’re as cheap and worn as an old hat

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Villanelle

I don’t know my purpose in life so give me a sign.
I cry out loudly if someone could just help me
But everything I want to do in life somehow gets declined.

I’m confused with life, and all these things in my mind.
I don’t know where I’m going or who I want to be
I don’t know my purpose in life, so give me a sign.

Sometimes I feel like I’m lost in this world on cloud nine
My thoughts and dreams are all mixed u like a stormy sea
Everything I want to do in life somehow gets declined.

I have thoughts of one day, I could maybe be a star and shine
audition for Broadway shows or the TV show “Glee”
I don’t really know my purpose in life so give me a sign.

Then I go into a daze of how the most successful woman alive is how I want to be defined
Or maybe I don’t need a purpose in life I could just be free.
Everything I want to do in life somehow gets declined.

As confused as I am, I know I still have support from my blood-line
who remind me everyday that I have a purpose they seem to see.
I don’t know my purpose in life so give me a sign.
Everything I want in life somehow gets declined.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 1.31.25 PM

A Simple Incision

A smaller circle, creates clearer vision
Open your third eye to your future path
Cut out negativity with a simple incision

Don’t respond to the cynical comments
Building up your happiness, builds up their wrath
A smaller circle, creates clearer vision.

Surround yourself with concrete content
Do not join their “phenomenal” cast
Cut out negativity with a simple incision

What you have now may seem like a fragment
But the world you create will become vast
A smaller circle, creates a clear vision

The ideas and motivation that you present
Has nothing to do with the trials from the past
Cut out negativity with a simple incision

Where you are now in life is an intent
Looking back you’ll see that they’ll end up last
A smaller circle, creates a clearer vision.
Cut out negativity with a simple incision.

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Writing

Everyone around, fueled by frustration
Creativity squealing
Filled with aggravation

Brain puts up a fight
Thoughts are reeling
Everyone around, fueled by frustration

Hoping something comes to the light
Searching for ideas worth stealing
Filled with aggravation

Thoughts turning a toxic waste site
Uncertain of what they are dealing
Everyone around, fueled by frustration

Praying the meaning won’t be an oversight
The words need to invoke a feeling
Filled with aggravation

Finally finding something to write
Brains begin healing
Everyone around fueled by frustration
Filled with aggravation

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 1.43.00 PM

Villanelle (Love)

It seemed as if true love didn’t exist
Until I met my better half, my better side
I was introduced to a passionate kiss

I got a big diamond ring and beautiful bracelets for my wrist
Finally a perfect love with no lies or tears in my eyes
It seemed as if true love didn’t exist

Our fingers joined together in the shape of a fist
To the side, I was finally able to place my pride
I was introduced to a passionate kiss

The moment I met him, I couldn’t resist
No matter how hard I tried
It seemed as if true love didn’t exist

Thoughts of him caused me to reminisce
The strength and protection he’d promise to provide
I was introduced to a passionate kiss

There is nothing more special than this
One day hopefully I’ll be his bride
It seemed as if true love didn’t exist
I was introduced to a passionate kiss

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 1.47.30 PM

The Way Within

She talks to the voices in her head
She’s always wishing for something more
She goes somewhere else instead

No one calls she feels such dread
No one’s ever at the door
She talks to voices in her head

The memories are so strong in her head
Yet they have never happened before
She goes somewhere else instead

She lays awake at night in bed
The voices call for more
She talks to voices in her head

The pain in her heart is from her head
The voices go to war
She goes somewhere else instead

She believes the words they have said
She can’t take this anymore
She talks to the voices in her head
She goes somewhere else instead

 

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