Class #17 Monday 6/6


Create a "calligram" in which your text is crafted into a visual component of the poem.

Due Thursday 6/9

Calligram


A calligram is a poem, phrase, or word in which the typeface, calligraphy or handwriting is arranged in a way that creates a visual image. The image created by the words expresses visually what the word, or words, say. In a poem, it manifests visually the theme presented by the text of the poem. Guillaume Apollinaire was a famous calligram writer and author of a book of poems called Calligrammes. His poem written in the form of the Eiffel Tower is an example of a calligram:





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Class #16 Friday 6/3


"White Girl Powwow Love 1978" questions can be worked on in class; due Monday 6/6.

Compose an Ode to whatever or whomever inspires you, or us. The form, rhyme and meter is open to
your whim or ratiocination.

Due Monday 6/6.

Ode

Ode (from the Ancient Greek ὠδή) is a type of lyrical verse. It is an elaborately structured poem praising or glorifying an event or individual, describing nature intellectually rather than emotionally. An ode is typically a lyrical verse written in praise of, or dedicated to someone or something which captures the poet's interest or serves as an inspiration for the ode.

The initial model for English odes was Horace, who used the form to write meditative lyrics on various themes.







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By John Keats



Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loath?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit dities of no tone.
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal---yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss
Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unweari-ed,
Forever piping songs forever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
Forever panting, and forever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands dressed?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity. Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty"---that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.



Class #15 Wednesday 6/1


Homework:


Compose Two "Haiku" poems, or more if you are inspired.
Description below.

Due Friday 6/3


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Now that you have spent 5 weeks studying poetry, please define, in your own words, just what poetry is;
responses should be no longer than two paragraphs.

Then, compose a poem that you feel exemplifies, in some way, your definition of poetry.
You may choose any form, meter, rhyme, verse, stanza etc., or none at all; any subject is acceptable as
long as it is appropriate for school.

Due Friday 6/3


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"White Girl Powwow Love 1978" questions can be worked on in class; due Monday 6/6.

What is Haiku?
Haiku is one of the most important form of traditional Japanese poetry. Haiku is, today, a 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metrical units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. Since early days, there has been confusion between the three related terms Haiku, Hokku and Haikai. The termhokku literally means "starting verse", and was the first starting link of a much longer chain of verses known ashaika. Because the hokku set the tone for the rest of the poetic chain, it enjoyed a privileged position in haikaipoetry, and it was not uncommon for a poet to compose ahokku by itself without following up with the rest of the chain.

Largely through the efforts of Masaoka Shiki, this independence was formally established in the 1890s through the creation of the term haiku. This new form of poetry was to be written, read and understood as an independent poem, complete in itself, rather than part of a longer chain.
Strictly speaking, then, the history of haiku begins only in the last years of the 19th century. The famous verses of such Edo-period (1600-1868) masters as Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa are properly referred to ashokku and must be placed in the perspective of the history of haikai even though they are now generally read as independent haiku. In HAIKU for PEOPLE, both terms will be treated equally! The distinction between hokku andhaiku can be handled by using the terms Classical Haikuand Modern Haiku.

Modern Haiku.
The history of the modern haiku dates from Masaoka Shiki's reform, begun in 1892, which established haiku as a new independent poetic form. Shiki's reform did not change two traditional elements of haiku: the division of 17 syllables into three groups of 5, 7, and 5 syllables and the inclusion of a seasonal theme.
Kawahigashi Hekigoto carried Shiki's reform further with two proposals:

  1. Haiku would be truer to reality if there were no center of interest in it.
  2. The importance of the poet's first impression, just as it was, of subjects taken from daily life, and of local colour to create freshness.


How to write Haiku
In japanese, the rules for how to write Haiku are clear, and will not be discussed here. In foreign languages, there exist NO consensus in how to write Haiku-poems. Anyway, let's take a look at the basic knowledge:

What to write about?
Haiku-poems can describe almost anything, but you seldom find themes which are too complicated for normal PEOPLE's recognition and understanding. Some of the most thrilling Haiku-poems describe daily situations in a way that gives the reader a brand new experience of a well-known situation.
The metrical pattern of Haiku
Haiku-poems consist of respectively 5, 7 and 5 syllables in three units. In japanese, this convention is a must, but in english, which has variation in the length of syllables, this can sometimes be difficult.
The technique of cutting.
The cutting divides the Haiku into two parts, with a certain imaginative distance between the two sections, but the two sections must remain, to a degree, independent of each other. Both sections must enrich the understanding of the other.
To make this cutting in english, either the first or the second line ends normally with a colon, long dash or ellipsis.
The seasonal theme.
Each Haiku must contain a kigo, a season word, which indicate in which season the Haiku is set. For example, cherry blossoms indicate spring, snow indicate winter, and mosquitoes indicate summer, but the season word isn't always that obvious.
Please notice that Haiku-poems are written under different rules and in many languages. For translated Haiku-poems, the translator must decide whether he should obey the rules strictly, or if he should present the exact essence of the Haiku. For Haiku-poems originally written in english, the poet should be more careful. These are the difficulties, and the pleasure of Haiku

Class #14 Thursday 5/26


Quiz on Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

whole poem, written.


Due Wednesday 6/1

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Five paragraph essay on one of the following Sonnets: 29,43, 75, or any other Sonnet approved by the teacher:

General outline of the essay:

Introduction
Summary of the form, progression and main themes of the Sonnet.
Description and explanation of the Sonnet's "volta".
Description and explanation of the Sonnet's "couplet".
Concluding remarks

The first draft of the paper will be due Wednesday 6/1.


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Compose Two "Haiku" poems, or more if you are inspired.
Description below.

Due Friday 6/3


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Now that you have spent 5 weeks studying poetry, please define, in your own words, just what poetry is;
responses should be no longer than two paragraphs.

Then, compose a poem that you feel exemplifies, in some way, your definition of poetry.
You may choose any form, meter, rhyme, verse, stanza etc., or none at all; any subject is acceptable as
long as it is appropriate for school.

Due Friday 6/3

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Class #13 Tuesday 5/24

Homework:


Quiz on the first eight lines of Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Due Thursday 5/26

Compose Two "Bantu" poems, or more if you are inspired.
(A description of the Bantu poem is shown below.)
Due Thursday 5/26


Five paragraph essay on one of the following Sonnets: 29,43, 75, or any other Sonnet approved by the teacher:

General outline of the essay:

Introduction
Summary of the form, progression and main themes of the Sonnet.
Description and explanation of the Sonnet's "volta".
Description and explanation of the Sonnet's "couplet".
Concluding remarks

The first draft of the paper will be due Wednesday 6/1.




Bantu
Two-line Bantu (or Abantu) poetry developed from the Bantu people of Africa (speakers of the Swahili, Kinyarwand, Kirundi, Zulu, Xhosa and other related languages). It arose from the oral tradition of “call and response.” In the rhythm of their work and perhaps in the spirit of a game or to relieve boredom, people would call out to each other. The first speaker called out a line that contained an image. A second speaker replied using a second image. This second image was meant to function as an elaboration or metaphor of the first.

1. It has two lines.
2. Each line contains an image.
3. The two images work together to form a metaphor.
4. Bantu don’t have titles.
5. There are no rules about rhyme, rhythm or line length.

What does a Bantu poem look like?

  • Wire hangers on a bar in the closet
  • Wild geese walking by a lake.

  • Children in a circle on the floor
  • The beaded necklace.

A bird chirping
A girl singing after her first kiss.

Writing Bantu poems is an exercise in metaphor-making. Bender reminds us to include images of sound, taste and smell as well as touch and sight.
Some ways Bantu could be included in your daily routine is to make a list of seven first lines at the beginning of the week with a goal to complete them all by week’s end. You could also have a friend or family member challenge you with first lines, or involve the whole family by posting a list of first lines on the fridge or bulletin board for anyone to supply a response. Of course though these short poems are little creations in themselves, the metaphors that they bring to mind could also be used in other writing.

Class #12 Thursday 5/19


Homework: Sonnet 43, line by line paraphrase


Note: Students who have not recited "Jabberwocky" should be
prepared to perform in class on Tuesday, 5/24.

Also Note: Students will be required to memorize Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

You will responsible for the first four lines (written) on Tuesday 5/24.


Class #11 Monday 5/16


Homework: Sonnet 43, line by line paraphrase


Note: Students who have not recited "Jabberwocky" should be
prepared to perform in class on Thursday, 5/19.

Also Note: Students will be required to memorize Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

You will responsible for the first four lines (written) on Tuesday 5/24.



Sonnet XLIII (43)


When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow's form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.




Class #10 Thursday 5/12


Homework: See Class #9 below for description of assignment due Monday 5/16



Class #9 Tuesday 5/10


The following assignments are to be worked on in class on Thursday 5/12:



Compose a parody of an English (Shakespearean) Sonnet.
I would suggest using Sonnet 18 as a guide and model for your parody, as demonstrated in the two parodies of this sonnet distributed in class. (Though you may use any of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets for this assignment.)


Your sonnet should be in iambic pentameter and conform to the following rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg.


If you need help constructing this poem, seek assistance before the due date of Monday 5/16; you may contact me through Lalage or GSA e-mail.


Additionally:

Paraphrase, line by line, Sonnet 116; you may access good commentary notes for this sonnet using the link to Shakespeare’s Sonnets on Lalage and selecting Sonnet 116.

Due Monday 5/16.


NOTE: anyone who has not recited “Jabberwocky” in class will be required to perform on Monday 5/16.

Anyone who has not completed the Lexicon Quiz shall be required to complete it on Monday 5/16.



Shakespearean (English) Sonnet
1. The Shakespearean sonnet consists of three quatrains (4-line sections or stanzas) with a closing couplet (2 lines). The sections may or may not be separated by stanza breaks.
2. Each quatrain adds a new dimension of thought or progress toward the epiphany. “The Shakespearean turn makes a leap in logic. We progress slowly via each quatrain, laying the groundwork leading to epiphany, and suddenly have one in the couplet.”3
3. The rhyme scheme in a Shakespearean sonnet, which allows for a total of seven rhyme sounds, is more workable in the English language than the Petrarchan (4-5 rhyme sounds).
Quatrain 1: abab
Quatrain 2: cdcd
Quatrain 3: efef
Couplet: gg


OCTAVE:
the first eight lines of a sonnet, almost always a complete rhyming unit.
The most common rhyme scheme for an octave is abba abba.

SESTET:
the last six lines of a Petrarchan sonnet; often subtly discernible by tone or mood in a Shakespearean sonnet as well,
although less distinctly marked there by rhyme scheme.
The most common rhyme scheme for a sestet: cdcdcd ccdccd cddcdd cdedce cdecde cddcee

TERCET:
3-line pattern of verses, usually aaa bbb. . . when rhymed, but common in free verse as well; also called “triplet.”

ELISION: (poetry)
slurring of two syllables into one, across adjacent vowels or weak voiced consonants; includes conventional poeticisms (”o’er” for “over,” “e’en” for “even”) and nonce phrases so marked (”th’ unseen”) or so treated in scansion, usually to contract an anapest into an iamb.

hyperbaton |hīˈpərbəˌtän|
noun Rhetorican inversion of the normal order of words, esp. for the sake of emphasis, as in the sentence “ this I must see.”ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek huperbaton ‘overstepping’ (from huper ‘over, above’ + bainein ‘go, walk’ ).



Sonnet #18
(a parody)
Shall I compare thee to a bale of hay?
Thou art more dusty and far less neat.
Rough winds do toss thy mop about, I'd say,
Which looks far worse than hay a horse would eat.
Sometime thy squinty eye looks into mine
Through stringy, greasy hair that needs be trimm'd,
And ne'er a horse had such a stench as thine,
As though in stagnant sewers thou hast swimm'd.
Thy disgusting image shall not fade;
This my tortured mind and soul doth know.
O, I should love to hit thee with a spade;
And with that blow I hope that thou wouldst go.
So long as I can breathe, my eyes can see,
And I can run, I'll stay away from thee...







Class #8 Friday 5/6


Homework:

Compose an Italian sonnet according to the structure described in
class and below. You must use iambic pentameter. Be sure to
measure five iambic feet per line; variations should be spare and
for effect or a defensible expediency. Your octave must follow the
commonly employed abba abba or abab abab rhyme scheme. Your sestet must
be one of the common sets shown here:
cdcdcd ccdccd cddcdd cdecde cddcee

Try to employ the convention of the "volta" or turn as described below.
That is to say, try to feature some contrastive idea, problem, theme
that is established in the octave and resolved or ironized or perhaps
fractured or transformed in the sestet. The volta should occur in the
transition within the 8th and 9th lines. These components will be
challenging to pull off. I will be satisfied with your best effort.


Topic: Social networking and the gadgets that facilitate it.
Due: Tuesday 5/10


Paraphrase, line by line, Sonnet XVIII (18) by Shakespeare.
By "paraphrase' is meant that you should take each line and render
it into contemporary language that, in your judgment, comes closest
to the original meaning in sense and image. Of course, this is not an
easy task, to try to understand Shakespeare as he understood himself,
but I expect you to try your best to escape the bounds of time and place.

Due: Tuesday 5/10


Example of a contemporary paraphrase of Sonnet 18:

OOOOH Baby I think I shall compare you to a summer day
But, you know, you're prettier and even better, even calm
Because sometimes it gets windy and the buds on the trees get shaken off
And sometimes summer doesn't last very long
Sometimes it's too hot
And everything gorgeous loses its looks
By getting hit by a truck Or just because everyone and everything gets old and ugly and shabby
BUT (and here's the turn) you're going to keep your looks for ever
Your beauty will last for ever
I'm going to make sure that you never lose your good looks
And that nasty old Death can never brag about owning you
Because I shall write this poem about you
As long as men can breathe (are you breathing?)
As long as men can see (are you looking at this poem?)
Then this poem lives, and it gives life and memory to your beauty.

Sonnet XVIII


Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.



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Volta: a turn or change of feeling in the poem. It is an essential element of the sonnet form, perhaps the essential element. It is at the volta that the second idea is introduced.

ORIGIN late 17th cent. (as a fencing term): from French, from Italian volta ‘a turn,’from volgere ‘to turn.’



OCTAVE:
the first eight lines of a sonnet, almost always a complete rhyming unit.



SESTET:
the last six lines of a Petrarchan sonnet; often subtly discernible by tone or mood in a Shakespearean sonnet as well,
although less distinctly marked there by rhyme scheme.






CLASS #7 WEDNESDAY 5/4


Full written version of Jabberwocky will be tested on Wednesday 5/4; SPELLING, CAPITALIZATION, AND PUNCTUATION COUNT.
If you are absent on Wednesday you will be expected to take both the vocabulary and Jabberwocky quiz on Friday 5/6.

On Friday 5/6, there will be a vocabulary quiz on "Lexicon 2" words (1-32) found in the page thus marked and accessed in the right
column of this home page; this should be reviewed before Thursday night. The form or the quiz will be "matching".



CLASS #6 MONDAY 5/2

Define "world" as you understand the term in your common usage and as you understand it in the context of The World is Too Much With Us Late and Soon, by William Wordsworth. Your response should be at least one paragraph in length and no more than three. You will need to ponder the poem in its entirety to form a good answer, so you will have to sacrifice more Skype, IPhone and FB time; all apologies. Due Monday, 5/2.



Compose a villanelle according to the structure described
in class and below. Recall that Plath's Mad Girl's Love Song and
Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night are villanelles.
You should employ one dominant metrical foot; I am strongly
prompting you to use either iambic or trochaic.
I also suggest maintaining a regular length of each line.
Although tetrameter and pentameter are most commonly used in villanelles,
you may lengthen, or shorten, per the magnitude of your creative stamina.
You must also follow the rhyme scheme of the villanelle precisely,
as described below.

The theme of your villanelle will be "love"; you will determine the kind, degree, and object of that love.

Due Monday, 5/2

Full written version of Jabberwocky will be tested on Wednesday 5/4; the wise lad or lass would review
the poem daily before then.

On Friday 5/6, there will be a vocabulary quiz on Lexicon 2 words (1-31) found in the page thus marked and accessed in the right
column of this home page; likewise this should be reviewed before next Thursday night.



The World Is Too Much With Us Late And Soon

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. -Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

William Wordsworth 1806



















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"Kiss me and you'll know how important I am . . ." Sylvia Plath



Class #5 Tuesday 4/26

Homework: Learn the 5th and 6th quatrains of Jabberwocky:


One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

Quiz, 4th and 5th quatrains (only), Thursday 4/28.



Compose a villanelle according to the structure described
in class and below. Recall that Plath's Mad Girl's Love Song and
Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night are villanelles.
You should employ one dominant metrical foot; I am strongly
prompting you to use either iambic or trochaic.
I also suggest maintaining a regular length of each line.
Although tetrameter and pentameter are most commonly used in villanelles,
you may lengthen, or shorten, per the magnitude of your creative stamina.
You must also follow the rhyme scheme of the villanelle precisely,
as described below.

The theme of your villanelle will be "love"; you will determine the kind, degree, and object of that love.

If you are in doubt about any detail of this assignment, or want help
writing a villanelle according to its strict structure, ask questions in class,
or arrange a conference with me before the due date of Monday, 5/2.




They Challenged Me



They challenged me to write a villanelle

And I was inclined to attempt this feat,

But I'm not sure I did it very well.

I gave it my best shot, oh what the hell

Threw fear aside and jumped in with both feet...

They challenged me to write a villanelle.

And even though I hear a warning bell

Too late for doubts, can't leave it incomplete:

But I'm not sure I did it very well.

I wonder why on earth I let them sell

Me the idea... am tempted to retreat.

They challenged me to write a villanelle

But I'm no quitter that much I can tell

You, so I refused to concede defeat,

But I'm not sure I did it very well.

It's nearly done and I can almost smell

The scent of victory, and it is sweet.

They challenged me to write a villanelle

But I'm not sure I did it very well.


The Villanelle



The modern villanelle evolved from 14th century Italian pastoral round-songs. The French poet Jean Passerat wrote the first recognizable villanelles in the 16th century. By the 19th century English poets were using the form to write cute and clever light verses that often referred to the form itself. Modern and contemporary poets have demonstrated its potential more fully by writing villanelles that range from humorous to haunting. The villanelle is the second most common form poem modern poets choose to write (beaten out only by the sonnet).


What is a villanelle?
The villanelle is a form poem, that is, it’s a poem written according to a blueprint or plan. Furthermore, within the family of form poems the villanelle is a fixed form because it always has the same number of lines—19. These are arranged as five stanzas of three lines (tercets) and a final stanza of four lines (quatrain).

The villanelle employs rhyme. It has two rhyme sounds which we’ll refer to asa, and A (the same sound), and b.

To complicate things, it also has two repeating lines (or refrains). The first repeating line initially appears as line 1 (A1) and repeats in lines 6, 12 and 18. The second repeating line appears first as line 3 (A2) and repeats in lines 9, 15 and 19 (the last line of the poem).

Here is the villanelle’s pattern:

Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 2 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)

Line 4 (a)
Line 5 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)

Line 7 (a)
Line 8 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)

Line 10 (a)
Line 11 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)

Line 13 (a)
Line 14 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)

Line 16 (a)
Line 17 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Refrain 2 (A2)



Eight to ten syllables per line is the most common length but shorter or longer lines are okay too. The main thing is to keep the rhythm regular.



When working with the repeating lines, it is accepted practice—and most poets do—to change these slightly from one appearance to the next. The goal is to enlarge the meaning of the poem rather than precisely parrot back the words.

Villanelles have no set rhythm or line length but the lines are usually even. Iambic pentameter (te-TUM x 5) is a common rhythm for serious villanelles. The Thomas poem with which we began this article is written in iambic pentameter (do NOT go GENtle INto THAT good NIGHT). The trochee rhythm (TUM-te, BASket) also works well.


For a light verse villanelle, anapest feet create a tripping rhythm ( te-te-TUM,ser-e-NADE). Or use dactyl feet for a marching or galloping effect (TUM-te-te,HAR-mo-ny).


Read some villanelles
Below are links to villanelles by well-known poets. They illustrate how the theory works in practice. You might want to read each poem several times.
On first reading:
• Read for meaning and general effect.

On second and successive readings:
• Note the repeating/refrain lines. Has the poet changed them? How do the changes affect poem's meaning.
• Note line lengths and rhythm. What do those things communicate to you?



"During the Service" by Carrie Grabo
"In Memory of the Unknown Poet, Robert Boardman Vaughn" by Donald Justice
"Lissadel" by Wendy Cope
"Subject to Change" by Marilyn Taylor
More villanelles here
.

Write a Villanelle
Now that you are familiar with the rules of the form and have read a few, follow these steps to compose a villanelle of your own.


1. Choose a subject. Though any subject might do, there are some ideas which are better suited to the villanelle form than others. (W. H. Auden, when asked whether the form or content came first, replied, “At any given time, I have two things on my mind—a theme that interests me and a problem of verbal form. The theme looks for the right form; the form looks for the right theme. When the two come together, I am able to start writing.”2)

Some subjects or themes that lend themselves well to the villanelles are:
• Duality, for example two differing points of view, or two unlike things or people forced together. The first villanelle I wrote was for a contest where the challenge was to write a poem about Christmas in a prison or care home. Note the duality: happy time, sad place.
• Ironic subjects. Actor, writer and poetry aficionado Stephen Fry describes many villanelles as consisting of “a rueful, ironic reiteration of pain or fatalism.”3
• Humorous subjects—especially those rooted in irony.



2. Write the two repeating or refrain lines. This is the most important step of the villanelle-writing process and will largely determine the success of your poem. When composing the two repeating lines keep in mind:
• The end words of the two lines rhyme. The sound on which they end will also be the ‘a’ rhyme sound in the non-repeating lines. Therefore choose end words with a rhyme sound that’s easy to match.
• The lines should resonate with a meaning that has the potential to enlarge as the poem progresses.
• The lines should be musical and pleasing to the ear.
• Try beginning one or both refrain lines with a verb.
• The two lines need to come together effectively at the end of the poem.
“Technically the trick of it seems to be to find a refrain pair that is capable of run-ons, ambiguity and ironic reversal” says Fry.



3. Decide on your second rhyme sound ‘b’. Again choose a sound that has lots of rhyme potential and that is different enough from rhyme ‘a’ to provide a pleasing contrast.
If you need some help finding rhymes, you can always use a free on-line rhyming dictionary for some help.
Rhymer
Rhymezone



4. Print out or write the villanelle form on a piece of paper and enter the repeating lines.



5. Make lists of words that rhyme with the two sounds you have chosen (a, A and b). Use a rhyming dictionary if you need to.



6. Compose the additional lines of your poem according to the rhyme scheme, using ideas suggested by the words on your list.



7. Make subtle changes to the refrain lines as your poem takes shape. Make these changes to enhance and add meaning, not simply for the sake of variety. “The repetition cannot be static,” says Frances Mayes. “Each time a repeating line appears it should have added significance.”5

If this way of composing a poem seems contrived and non-poetic, be reassured that you’re not the first person to feel this way. Poet and teacher Michael Begeja tells students they need to plot their villanelles. Stephen Fry observes, “Certain closed forms (and he includes the villanelle here) …seem demanding enough in their structures and patterning to require some of the qualities needed for Sodoku and crosswords.” But despite the seemingly unpoetic method of composing, villanelles often appear spontaneous. Strive for such an effect, even if it takes much crossing out, agonizing over, and rewriting lines to get exactly what you’re after.

Once you’re familiar with writing by-the-rules villanelles, you may be tempted to join poets who have written villanelles that break the rules. Some poets leave out or add stanzas, rhyme only some of the lines, or none at all, or even write in free verse. As John Drury says, “You can manipulate forms as much as you like, shortening or lengthening as long as the poem turns out well.”



Chatty Cathy Villanelle

BY DAVID TRINIDAD

When you grow up, what will you do?
Please come to my tea party.
I’m Chatty Cathy. Who are you?

Let’s take a trip to the zoo.
Tee-hee, tee-hee, tee-hee.You’re silly!
When you grow up, what will you do?

One plus one equals two.
It’s fun to learn your ABC’s.
I’m Chatty Cathy, who are you?

Please come help me tie my shoe.
Can you come out and play with me?
When you grow up, what will you do?

The rooster says cock-a-doodle-doo.
Please read me a bedtime story.
I’m Chatty Cathy. Who are you?

Our flag is red, white and blue.
Let’s make believe you’re Mommy.
When you grow up, what will you do?
I’m Chatty Cathy. Who are you?








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 (1951)
plath-writing1.jpg

Even amidst fierce flames, the golden lotus can be planted.














dylan_thomas.jpg







And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Dylan Thomas (1951)







Class #4 Friday 4/15


Homework: Learn the first four quatrains of Jabberwocky


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!



Lewis-Carrol.jpg


Poem Topic: "Making Sense"; describe, in verse, one of the five human senses;
what it does and "knows". (You can make this personal, or not.)

Your original Poem must comprise at least four stanzas,
each stanza four lines in length, in iambic trimeter/tetrameter/pentameter.

You must use the following rhyme scheme: abab or abxb (cf. Jabberwocky).

Due Tuesday 4/26

Using the "For Better, For Verse" site, scan the second and third quatrains of Jabberwocky.
These lines should be significantly easier than Mowing; iambs aplenty.

Due Tuesday 4/26

jabberwocky2.jpg


Class #3 Wednesday 4/13


Homework: Learn the first three quatrains of Jabberwocky

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

external image jabberwocky.jpg
external image jabberwocky.jpg

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.


Written quiz Friday 4/15; spelling and punctuation count.

After reading "Mowing" by Robert Frost, several times,
and reflecting therein more time than you've spent on Facebook
today, try to offer a brief explanatory verbal picture of just what
the following line seems to mean:

The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.


As you read the poem, several more times, you might ponder
on the contextual meaning of the following words and phrases:

"never" line 1

"dream of the gift of idle hours" line 7

"easy gold" (And why "easy"?) line 8

"Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak." line 9
(What could be "more" than the "truth"?)

"earnest love" line 10


Your analysis should not exceed one or two paragraphs, typed, double spaced.
Due Friday 4/15.

Scan the first seven lines of "Mowing", as best you can. Recall the dominant metrical
foot is the iamb. Using the link to "For Better, For Verse" may help this task.
Due Friday 4/15.




Mowing
There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound—
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.
Robert Frost

300_341466-1.jpg


Class #2 Monday 4/11


Homework: Learn the first two quatrains of Jabberwocky

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

external image jabberwocky.jpg
external image jabberwocky.jpg
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

Written quiz Wednesday 4/13; spelling and punctuation count.

Scan the first quatrain of The Jabberwocky, using "u" to indicate
"slack" (i.e. unstressed) and "/" to indicate syllables that receive
emphasis, length or a "stress". Break each line into "feet", that
is, the syllabic length of each metrical unit in a verse. Almost all
of the feet in the first quatrain are "iambs" (i.e., "u /", slack stress).

Due Weds. 4/13

FOOT:
repeating pattern of slack and stressed syllables that forms the fundamental unit of meter. The number of feet in a line gives their names to monometer (1), dimeter (2), trimeter (3), tetrameter (4), pentameter (5), hexameter (6, also called alexandrine), heptameter (7, also called “fourteeners”), octometer (8), nonometer (9), the very first and the last two being quite rare.

IAMB:
metrical foot consisting of a slack and a stress: υ

METER:
the recurring, invariant pattern of slack and stressed syllables that a line of accentual-syllabic verse implies, and that the reader infers as an abstract, steady ground against which the actual verse rhythm plays its patterns of coincidence or counterpoint.

SCANSION:
an analytic process of mapping the convergence and divergence (reinforcement and counterpoint) between the meter of verse and its rhythm. A poem is scanned by marking its stressed and slack syllables and dividing them into feet.

SLACK:
unstressed syllable in metered verse; scansion mark

STANZA:
group of lines whose meter and rhyme scheme follow a pattern that is exactly repeated, constituting the structural unit of a stanzaic poem.

STRESS:
emphasis that a syllable receives in metered verse; scansion mark Stress may be due to accent (as given in dictionaries for polysyllabic words), to grammar (monosyllabic nouns and adjectives, e.g., routinely taking stress), to context (where a word acquires dramatic or rhetorical force), or, infrequently, to the exigency ofmeter itself.


portmanteau word

noun

a word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others, for examplemotel (from ‘motor’ and hotel’) or brunch
(from ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’).

ORIGIN
portmanteau coined, in this sense, by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass (1871).

nonce |näns|
adjective(of a word or expression) coined for or used on one occasion :a nonce usage.PHRASESfor the nonce for the present; temporarily : the room had been converted for the nonce into a nursery.ORIGIN Middle English : from then anes [the one (purpose)](from then, obsolete oblique form of the + ane [one] + -s 3 ), altered by misdivision; compare with newt and nickname .
prosody |ˈpräsədē|
nounthe patterns of rhythm and sound used in poetry : the translator is not obliged to reproduce the prosody of the original.the theory or study of these patterns, or the rules governing them. the patterns of stress and intonation in a language : the salience of prosody in child language acquisition | early English prosodies.DERIVATIVESprosodic |prəˈsädik; -zädik| or prosodical |prəˈsädikəl; -ˈzäd-| adjective prosodist |ˈpräsədist; ˈpräz-| nounORIGIN late 15th cent. : from Latin prosodia ‘accent of a syllable,’ from Greek prosōidia ‘song sung to music, tone of a syllable,’ from pros ‘toward’ +ōidē‘song.’




4/7 First Class Thursday


Homework: Learn the first quatrain of Jabberwocky

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

* Written Quiz on Monday 4/11; spelling & punctuation count. *


Compose an acrostic poem using, at the least, your first and last name;
you may also include your middle name(s) and any other name(s)
comprising your "name"; the poem should express, denote, connote,
limn or otherwise show some part of what or who you are; don't
use tracing paper.

Your acrostic poem is due Monday, 4/11.

What is "poetry"?

ACROSTIC poem: A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky , Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
from Through the Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There (1871)

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July--

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear--

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?


alice-liddell-lewis-carroll-alice-in-wonderland-author.jpg

acrostic |əˈkrôstik; əˈkräs-|

nouna poem, word puzzle, or other composition in which certain letters in each line form a word or words.ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French

acrostiche , from Greek akrostikhis, from akron ‘end’ + stikhos ‘row, line of verse.’ The spelling change was due to association with -ic


quatrain |ˈkwäˌtrān|

nouna stanza of four lines, esp. one having alternate rhymes.

cherub ch erəb|

ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French, from quatre ‘four.’cherub ch erəb|noun ( pl. cherubim) ch er(y)əbim|a winged angelic being described in biblical tradition as attending on God. It is represented in ancient Middle Eastern art as a lion or bull with eagles' wings and a human face, and regarded in traditional Christian angelology as an angel of the second highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.( pl. cherubim ch er(y)əˌbim|or cherubs ) a representation of a cherub in art, depicted as a chubby, healthy-looking child with wings.( pl. cherubs) a beautiful or innocent-looking child.ORIGIN Old English cherubin , ultimately (via Latin and Greek) from Hebrew kĕrū b