Villanelle

By Monday, March 20, 2017 0 No tags Permalink 0

Want a tiny taste of what goes on in AP English Literature with Ms. Mooney? This week, students were required to write a villanelle. A villanelle is a tightly structured poem.

The checklist for a villanelle makes the form intimidating:

  1. six stanzas
  2. first 5 contain 3 lines, the 6th contains 4.
  3. ABA rhyme scheme for first 5, ABAA rhyme for the 6th
  4. 1st and 3rd lines of 1st stanzas alternate as final lines of stanzas 2-5
  5. 1st and 3rd lines of 1st stanza comprise the final 2 lines of the 6th stanza
  6. sensory details and images

Luckily, Ms. Mooney explains it to us with ease and the poem is actually enjoyable to compose. If you decide to try your hand at a villanelle, be sure to send it our way. Here is my villanelle Reverse Rot.

Reverse Rot

He was a living dead man

I can recall when he was lively and sharp, days I long to repeat

The worst kind of death is from the inside out.

“What is this called again?”, he asked pointing at a television

How painful it was to watch his mind retreat

He was a living dead man.

We found his stripped work ties in the fridge

Laying beside the rotting, week old meat

The worst kind of death is from the inside out.

“I can’t wait until David comes home”, he said gazing at the ground

The fact that he forgot that his son died was obsolete

He was a living dead man.

We remember when he was funny

He was concerned and sweet

The worst kind of death is from the inside out.

“What is your name again?” he asked me

“I am your granddaughter!” I urged this plea

He was a living dead man.

It is so hard to let go

Of someone who appears perfectly complete

He was a living dead man

The worst kind of death is from the inside out.

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