Monday, April 14, 2014

Villanelle and Paradelle

Dear Readers,

Madame L has found this poem, which she mentioned yesterday, Billy Collins' "Villanelle," online:

Villanelle

This first line will not go away,
and though the middle ones will disappear,
the third, like the first, is bound to get more play.

Examples of the type are written every day,
and whether uplifting or drear,
that first line just won’t go away.

It seems some lines have the right of way.
It’s their job to reappear,
for example, the third, always getting extra play.

Whether you squawk like an African gray
or sing sweetly to the inner ear,
the line you wrote first just won’t go away.

You may compose all night and day
under a bare lightbulb or a crystal chandelier,
but line number three must get more play.

How can a poet hope to go wildly astray
or sing out like a romantic gondolier
when the first line just won’t go away,
and the third one always has the final say?

Madame L also found this "paradelle," "Paradelle for Susan," by Billy Collins, online:

I remember the quick, nervous bird of your love.
I remember the quick, nervous bird of your love.
Always perched on the thinnest, highest branch.
Always perched on the thinnest, highest branch.
Thinnest love, remember the quick branch.
Always nervous, I perched on your highest bird the.

It is time for me to cross the mountain.
It is time for me to cross the mountain.
And find another shore to darken with my pain.
And find another shore to darken with my pain.
Another pain for me to darken the mountain.
And find the time, cross my shore, to with it is to.

The weather warm, the handwriting familiar.
The weather warm, the handwriting familiar.
Your letter flies from my hand into the waters below.
Your letter flies from my hand into the waters below.
The familiar waters below my warm hand.
Into handwriting your weather flies you letter the from the.

I always cross the highest letter, the thinnest bird.
Below the waters of my warm familiar pain,
Another hand to remember your handwriting.
The weather perched for me on the shore.
Quick, your nervous branch flew from love.
Darken the mountain, time and find was my into it was with to to.
You can also go online to find another invented form, inspired by Billy Collins' paradelle, the upside down paradelle: "Extractions," invented by poet Grace Curtis.


1 comment:

Laura said...

I'm only familiar with Billy Collins because of what you've shared here (and felt like a literary snob the day he was a guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me!" broadcast and knew who he was). He sounds very clever. I like it.