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Poem: Villanelle on How to Villanelle 

Villanelle on How To Villanelle

In the villanelle, with its metered verse,
the repetition of first and third lines
makes the poem seem redundant if too terse.

Reusing lines may seem a gift, not curse,
but it’s hard finding new meaning each time
in the villanelle, with its metered verse.

Now, meter trouble is quite the reverse
because including iambs in each line
makes the poem seem redundant if too terse,

and counting the stresses can be dispersed,
even if some insist they be assigned.
In the villanelle, with its metered verse,

the rhyme scheme leaves the reader none the worse;
although it sometimes, as it intertwines,
makes the poem seem redundant if too terse.

The test for the writer is not to curse
or else the little things, rules and confines
in the villanelle, with its metered verse,
makes the poem seem redundant and too terse.

Speaking of...

  • Poetry edited by Phillip Levine.

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