batyatoon: (Default)
A villanelle (also known as villanesque) is a nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain. There are two refrains and two repeating rhymes, with the first and third line of the first tercet repeated alternately until the last stanza, which includes both repeated lines. The villanelle is an example of a fixed verse form.

Villanelles are a nightmare; there is no other way to say it.
-Craft of Poetry

I've never tried to write a villanelle. )
batyatoon: (anime)
I like this meme.

If you feel like participating, post a poem in the comments when you see this.

Billy Collins

    You are the bread and the knife,
    The crystal goblet and the wine...

    -Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.
batyatoon: (fallen)
Where I was, 9/11/2001 and following.

What I still consider the definitive poem on the subject: John M. Ford's 110 Stories.
batyatoon: (might as well dance)
or possibly memeing, or something -- from a thing [ profile] tinuviel8994 did just over a year ago, here:

Comment with a poetic yet random observation of the world around you. Surrealism equals yes. Sense equals optional.

Depending on factors such as time, feeling-like-it, and inspiration or lack thereof, I'll reply to your comment with a similarly poetic and random observation. Depending on those same factors, you can reply to mine or somebody else's, and the cycle self-perpetuates.

Have at.
batyatoon: (littleme)
Tonight is Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year.

In addition to the usual shanah tovah wishes and requests for forgiveness, I'd like to share this poem by e.e.cummings. Because it's not just about wishing for a good year, and it's not just about starting to think about the upcoming Day of Atonement. It's about commemmoration of what happened today, however-many years ago: the Creation.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

No matter how screwed up some things can get ... it's still a good world.
I'm glad it's here.

Have a good year, everybody. You know I love you.
batyatoon: (littleme)
Traveling Gifts: a poem in four haiku

Menthol chewing gum;
a kitten with three red paws;
two new songs, with chords.

A hand-crocheted scarf;
a cookbook for artichokes;
dolphin-shaped hair clips.

Roman glass earrings;
a Celtic music CD
labeled in Hebrew.

Seven foreign coins;
a ripe pomegranate, halved;
a stone from the sea.
batyatoon: (a million windows)
somewhere I should have gone much sooner.

This is what I wrote there, almost unedited.

Ground Zero, October 15, 2003 )
batyatoon: (Default)
You know you're a poetgeek when lines of dialogue in random contexts leap out at you and proclaim their suitability for a particular poem form. An innocuous phrase in a friend's recent livejournal post tried to turn itself into a sonnet last week, because it was two nonrhyming lines in iambic pentameter and they only needed two more lines to form the first quatrain ...

I fought that one off successfully, only to be jumped by a line out of an old ElfQuest collection. (Six syllables! Easily broken into three lines of two syllables apiece! Come on!) Fans of ElfQuest may recognize the line as one of the first things we ever hear from Suntop, Cutter's son.

The sky is double-mooned and starred;
It's hard
To look away from that dark deep
To sleep.
Although by day the sun is bright,
At night
The darkness seems to sharpen sight.
And in the brilliance it brings,
My blood it shines, it scents, it sings:
It's hard to sleep at night.
batyatoon: (Default)
I found a link to it on [ profile] stakebait's LJ.
It's John M. Ford's poem about 9/11. That's all the fair warning anyone could ask for, and all the praise anyone could need.

Go read.
batyatoon: (Default)
I first heard this poem at Contata 1998. The fan who recited it did not know the author's name, only that the poem was first published in Analog magazine in July of 1979.
If anyone knows who the author was, or how to find out, please let me know. -B.

Sonnet: 20th July, 1969
They made it, we all made it, just a bit.
Like Vikings leaving runes and little more,
Taking the lesser light where God had placed it,
To show ourselves just what a heaven's for.
They loped like diving, suited kangaroos,
Over that sterile world of one-night stands
Driving golf balls and moon-buggies to amuse
The children, while the stars slipped through our hands.
They're gone now, to their shrinks and shrunken space,
The praises theirs; 'tis ours to wonder why
The world's still flat, and dreams are out of grace.
So I, believing less each summer, pry
Open that lost, last year to see the bright
Earth-jewel, smooth and blue, in velvet night.
batyatoon: (Default)
There's a young man whose family goes to our synagogue -- for the sake of privacy we'll call him Ethan. He's about nineteen, black-haired, usually wears a short beard, and has one of the single most evil grins I've ever seen. (And believe you me, I've seen a lot.)
Over the past year, he's gotten into the habit of writing poetry.

His father blames this entirely on me.

Okay, it's hardly all my fault. Before I ever met him he was reading poetry for the fun of it, and had already started experimenting with structures ...
But I'm the one who started reading everything he wrote and giving him concrete criticism. And I'm the one who introduced him to the work of Sherman Alexie, the sonnets of Millay, and the sestina form.

Now, god help me, he's written a full-length piece in response to Alexie's "Inside Dachau", and he's started composing a sestina wherein the first words of each stanza are thematically related to each other....

So I guess I'm not entirely blameless here either.

Those of you who know Seanan McGuire will be completely unsurprised to find out that she is in part responsible for the recent resurgence in my interest in structured poetry. Mind you, I haven't got it quite as bad as she does; but within about a week of telling her about the chain-sonnet form, she was telling me about the sonnet redouble form -- which I then passed on to other people, one of whom (no, not Ethan) has already completed a redouble of his own and another of whom has started one in a modified form that she's created.

We really should be more careful. This stuff can be dangerous, and it's clearly both highly addictive and highly contagious....


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