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Spellwork Through Poetry, Lesson 9

Lesson 9: Villanelle

The villanelle is more complicated than the limerick because it not only has a set rhyme scheme but also repeats lines throughout the poem and must be done in such a way to make sense. The rhyme scheme in a villanelle is ABA ABA ABA ABA ABAA. The first and third lines of the first stanza are the repeating lines. The first line is the last line in stanza two and four. The third line is the last line in stanza three. Both lines are used in stanza five to close out the poem.

I personally find it easiest to really focus on your topic, and free-write about the topic. Write the repeating A lines first, then spread them through the poem to set yourself up. Then, plug in some of your free-writing ideas to the missing slots to complete the poem.

A In the quiet of the night, softness longing to feel

B Brown eyes looking up, telling what you can’t say

A Proving again and again why this love is so real

A The connection soul deep, it is purely ideal

B A hug or a kiss may be the only way

A In the quiet of the night, softness longing to touch

A Just before bed, when others may kneel

B Meditation for us, sky-clad, but not risque

A Proving again and again why this love is so real

A Meeting my obligations as spoke in the wheel

B You wait at home, feels so far and away

A In the quiet of the night, softness longing to feel

A Wag of the tail, on the lead perfect heel

B High noon, without work, all day to play

A In the quiet of the night, softness longing to feel

A Proving again and again why this love is so real

Homework: Write at least one villanelle.