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January 11, 2013


Old light like whispers, smoking frankincense –
each memory preseved, compressed in feeling
arpeggios release night-jasmine scents

Vanilla pops and memory ferments
corn-dusty summer lane, high skylarks reeling;
old light like whispers, smoking frankincense

disperse upon a wave of plucked laments
reverberating dusks in rifting strings
arpeggios release night-jasmine scents

Ripe leather and patchouli, skin-intense
recalling summer’s burn and wheeling wings
old light like whispers, smoking frankincense

seduces tongues, refraining seventh sense
when past is present, moted history sings
arpeggios release night-jasmine scents

So future yesterdays are sealed, condensed
emotions pressing tight – sharp pungent sting –
old light like whispers, smoking frankincense
arpeggios release night-jasmine scents

From → Uncategorized

  1. wonderful villanelle…love the images..and the repetition works so well…arpeggios release night-jasmine scents…love it..and the patchouli of course..

  2. when i can get it, i always have my villanelle double scooped and liberally sprinkled with smoked frankincense and night-jasmined arpeggios, and delivered from magic hands

  3. Love what you’ve done modifying the rhyme-scheme and the +1 on the end of b-lines of S1 and 2. The variation is apt counterpoint to the the strict following of refrains. Interesting that you don’t vary the refrains at all, but b-lines end-rhymes… never seen this before. Works a treat.

    • Well, you know me.. I don’t like to stick completely to the rules. Not absolutely convinced this is finished. I wanted to return to the +1 rhyme for b in the final stanza but couldn’t find what I wanted. If I change anything, it’ll be that.

      Happy you like the metricals.. a pedant but not an utter purist 🙂 But of course, there are no real set metrical rules for villanelles are there?

  4. According to my research, and what I’ve always taught, is that they have to scan, but not as strictly as all being iambic pentameter/tetrameter or whatever. ie they all have to be pentameter/tetrameter etc but not in a specific metrical foot. Some will argue that this is not true. I’ve seen some form descriptions that don’t specify meter. Because they came from France and were originally in song-form, it’s unlikely they didn’t scan. Music always has rhythm. Besides, it’s far nicer to read if it does.

    • I think I’m with you on that.. music is such an instrinsic part of the villanelle and managing that one of the ways you know you’ve finished. Regularity, the metrical pattern is key, whatever the pattern might be.

  5. mmmm very nice….this is a wonder for the senses…great textures and smells…the repetition of which really works very nicely…..

    • Hey thanks Brian.. have you ever tried your hand at this form? Not your usual style I know…

      • i have not, i dont think…will have to give it a try…i am trying more for these days though…getting over my fear…and previous rejection of form…learning to play in the sand box you know…ha.

  6. this is such a sensual line -> arpeggios release night-jasmine scents

    a) sound and smell
    b) the arpegio is like a mist of perfume and it releases that glorious, erotic aroma

    • Thanks Tammy… that refrain line was actually quite a late addition, but think it was the right direction.. 🙂

  7. A beautiful Villanelle. You have been dipping your pen in some glorious scents lately. Wonderful work, Becky

    • Cheers Beth.. you know me.. scents, tastes, smells, textures… just a sucker for the senses. I really appreciate your comments, especially as you are so adept at form poetry – thanks.

  8. You’ve used the form to wonderful effect here. Villanelles are deceptively difficult and this one demonstrates the potential so well.

  9. I enjoyed the images you chose to create this well-executed Villanelle. I noticed Dick’s comment above and have to concur with him 100%

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