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A Villanelle in Homage to E Bishop

Author: Lerlim
ASL Info:    48/M/France
Elite Ratio:    8 - 110 /58 /18
Words: 166
Class/Type: Poetry /Love
Total Views: 1483
Average Vote:    5.0000
Bytes: 1080


This is derivative poetry. I don't know if it's any good, but it was great fun to make. I imagine that this is how the people who really like to do crossword puzzles feel when they've finished a hard one (though I personally cannot stand them...)

If you don't know it, here is Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art", one of the greatest Villanelles ever written, in my opinion.

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

-- Elizabeth Bishop

A Villanelle in Homage to E Bishop

A Humble Homage to E.B., with thanks to P.H.

The villanelle's so hard an art to master.
I tried to win his heart through sonnets yet
my poor attempts did clearly spell disaster.

"One Art" had thrilled his soul so, aiming vaster,
I tracked her steps. Oh how could I forget?
the game of love's so hard an art to master:

faced with disdain, it's no use running faster.
A lover less naïve could safely bet
my poor attempts were sure to spell disaster.

Why thus gesticulate if but to bluster
a fully-flawed unwarranted duet?
Seduction is so hard an art to master.

Failing to learn the art of loss I muster
frail words around me and refuse to let
my poor attempts fall flat and spell disaster.

Where marble stood: a replica of plaster
and, as for love, I've but an empty net.
The villanelle's so hard an art to master:
my poor attempt could only spell disaster.

Submitted on 2006-11-19 07:25:41     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  I love it, makes me want to start reading a dictionary, to improve vocabulary

Why thus gesticulate if but to bluster
a fully-flawed unwarranted duet?

For me, these two lines, are what I consider solid gold, very very solid, and very very shiny

I wish, I could comment on the way it was written, or the metaphor, but having dropped, English at 16, this poem , is far beyond me, in fact I have no clue what a villanelle is. (Had to use wikipedia).

In the end, all I can say is I love it

(One thing I did notice, is you have used the metaphor of a net before, seems, original, as Ive never encountered it until today)
| Posted on 2006-12-01 00:00:00 | by Static Scream | [ Reply to This ]
  Hi L,
"one other, vital twist. The first, then third line of the poem actually alternate as the last line of stanzas 2, 3, and 4, and then end stanza 5, and the poem itself, as a couplet. "
If I really wanted to nitpick, both her and your Villanelle aren't to the classical exactitude such rules ordain. Of course, I have no idea who the ordainer was. In any case, her villanelle is charming, and yours is at least as good.
Even the somehat looser rules you both follow are beyond anything I would attempt. A poet who callled herself "phantom pen" no longer posts here. That's a shame, because she had the ability to adhere to such forms ingeniously.
Kudos to you for even attempting such a form; and kudos squared for the result.
| Posted on 2006-11-20 00:00:00 | by fredmelden | [ Reply to This ]

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