12 Degrees & Skiving

what began as year-long challenge has become perpetual until further notice

• Week 8 • Villanelle •

The Carp

In the river the carp are at play,
mud-diamond jewelled, the water bedfellow
of eel, dragonfly nymph and cray.

The field above throws me a donkey’s bray,
the thrum of insects. A train on the bridge drowns all to bellow
at the river. The carp are at play,

gasping and breaching into the day,
sunlight through silt casting the shellac yellow
of eel, dragonfly nymph and cray.

Pattison’s Curse straddles the banks and sways
in time with the wind as summer’s hours mellow.
In the river the carp are at play,

and in my parked car, I’m detached from the clock – it’s Monday
and I’m writing only in time to a cicada’s cello,
of eel, dragonfly nymph and cray.

Cutting through currents, a set of fanning fins show
slick, flapping in air and, finding no purchase, the silt-belle rows
beneath the river where her kin are at play
with eel, dragonfly nymph and cray.

What is a villanelle?

A poetic form that is 19 lines long and contains 5 ‘tercets’ and concluded with 1 ‘quatrain’ at the end. The rhyming scheme is a, b, a,…etc until the quatrain, when it becomes b, b, a, a.

I find the villanelle somewhat villainous. This example needs a lot more work which I will endeavour to tackle in the coming weeks. 

Click here for more information and examples of villanelles.

4 comments on “• Week 8 • Villanelle •

  1. poemation
    February 20, 2012

    Nice! This is so well formed and metered!

    • Kittykatmandoo
      October 23, 2015

      Thanks Lucy…very belatedly! I’m sifting back the all my poetry to find so many missed comments :0

  2. Julie Mundy
    February 20, 2012

    I love the imagery of the train bellowing at the river – perfect. Your writing is SO evocative. Thankyou for sharing it with us all! Julie

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This entry was posted on February 20, 2012 by in Villanelle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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