Write a Villanelle

Poetry Contest
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The topic of this contest is: Write a Villanelle.

A Villanelle is a poetic form which entered English-language poetry in the 19th century from the imitation of French models. The word derives from the Italian villanella from Latin villanus (rustic).

A villanelle has only two rhyme sounds. The first and third lines of the first stanza are rhyming refrains that alternate as the third line in each successive stanza and form a couplet at the close. A villanelle is nineteen lines long, consisting of five tercets and one concluding quatrain. In music, it is a dance form, accompanied by sung lyrics or an instrumental piece based on this dance form.

In short, Villanelle is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme:
aba aba aba aba aba abaa.

The first and the third lines in the first stanza are repeated in alternating order throughout the poem, and appear together in the last couplet (last two lines).

In honor of my friend Susanne M. Psyris. This is her favorite form.

Below are a couple of examples of the Villanelle form.

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 darkness 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.)

--Sylvia Plath

This is one of my own examples of the form entitled "Villanelle on Lost Love".

True love is never lost, though it may die
a thousand deaths, each time to be reborn
A gift from Venus in the starry sky.

When lovers break, it makes the angels cry,
their tears produce the hail on winter morn
True love is never lost, though it may die.

A dream of love is fantasy ally
which cannot be unfaithful or forlorn
A gift from Venus in the starry sky.

And when the lovers' plans have gone awry,
let gypsies pray and cupids play their horns
True love is never lost, though it may die.

Who said that fortune tellers never lie
when telling lovers that their love is not
a gift from Venus in the starry sky?

Love turns our winter to a warm July
It frees a rose from its pernicious thorns
True love is never lost, though it may die
A gift from Venus in the starry sky.


The contest winner will win half of the prize pool of 60.00 member dollars. In this contest at least 2 submissions must be made for the vote to begin.

Deadline: Contest Is Closed.

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    Write a Villanelle. Read the contest rules and description

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Contest Entries

Author Name Submission Status
shelley kaye Position Reserved
whizpurr ^-^ Entered A Red-Combed Rooster
sgalletti Position Reserved
S.Yocom Position Reserved
boberto Position Reserved
Kellytr Entered Gone
findingmyroom Position Reserved
jinxiegal Position Reserved
Sally Carter Position Reserved
Brad Sterling Position Reserved
Susanne M. Psyris Position Reserved
flygirl254 Position Reserved