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We were asked to write a villanelle today in poetics. Our instructor asked us to write something disturbing, given the nature of the poem. The Villanelle, with it's repetitions, almost chant like in a way, does lend itself to be more melancholy and haunting than other forms (the winner of this, though, probably goes to the sestina, but who has time to write one of those these days, hmmm?*).

They can also be a bitch to write.

Given the twenty minute time constraints, I decided to eschew the formal iambic pentameter. In my rewrites, I could probably incorporate it back into the form, but for now, I will share with you my first draft.

As Katie said, "It kind of made me want to throw up a little, but in a good way!" Randall did ask for disturbing, and who am I to disappoint?

The Fields Where I Died

The wind blows cold, a gentle sigh
Across the water gently running
Across the fields where I died.

My body, limbs akimbo where it lies
broken, bleeding, blood congealing
The wind blows cold, a gentle sigh.

From the dark within the woods, now a soul arise
and stalks with purpose, passion, panting
across the fields where I died.

Stopping at my body, blood now dried
a wet snout sniffs, snuffling, sneezing,
the wind blows cold, a gentle sigh.

Teeth are bared, my eyes are wide
the sounds of jaws gnashing, gnawing
across the fields where I died.

And now with lips pulled back, the tongue begins to slide
across my flesh, fasting, festering
The wind blows cold, a gentle sigh
across the fields where I died.

*Laurie, I want to thank you for our poetics workshop back in 2001. I remember going over all these forms with you: the sestina, the villanelle, the pantoum, etc. It's definitely given me a leg up over my fellow cohorts.
WOW! Impressive! That's excellent!

A few years ago a local writer was selling custom poetry. She asked for a few key words or phrases and then she'd write poems that incorporated them. I was an asshole and had her write both a sestina and a villanelle.
Hahaha - way to make her work her brain!! I enjoy doing the older forms of poetry now and then. I think that by practicing a very strict form, a writer's free form can develop a better sense of focus. Like - once you know the rules, you're allowed to break them.
Sestinas? Evil.
Don't I know it! I taught you how to write them!
Ha Ha! Awesome! My image is not of a murdered girl like you maybe intended. It's of a skydiving accident, esp. because of the "limbs akimbo" line.
I find your comment interesting for two reasons - 1) at no point do I mention the gender of the narrator 2) at no point do I mention how, exactly, the narrator died
Okay, so you were honestly thinking of a skydiving accident?
No, I wasn't thinking it was a skydiving accident, but I also wasn't thinking that it was a murder or that it was girl who died.

I just found it interesting that you projected your assumptions onto the poems and I'm honestly interested - why do you think it was a girl and how did you come to the conclusion that she was murdered?
I wrote a sestina once. I wrote a paradelle too, and until wiki-ing it did not know it was a parodic form.
Heh... I wrote a paradelle too... Damn you Billy Collins...
Of course my inspiration was the suckiness of Paradelle for Susan. Of course mine sucked, but not nearly as hard as Collins' did.
. . . i'm looking for something, and i think i saw it in your journal.

i could've sworn that you went to a wedding where a certain interesting (and definitely non-sappy) poem was read, and i liked it very much, and i think you either posted it here or linked to it. is this ringing any bells, or am i completely off? my friends are getting married in a few weeks, and i'm to be their minister--so if you know what i'm talking about, let me know, okay? :-)
I think I know what you are talking about...

The Prophet on Marriage by Khalil Gibran
that wasn't exactly it, but it's really great! i think i'll probably end up using it. thanks. meg to the rescue. :-D
Wait! Hold the phone I think I found it...

I Do, I Will, I Have by Ogden Nash

Sorry, you'll have to forgive the literary-ness of my friends :) The Prophet was used at Mike and Steph's wedding that I went to 4 years ago and Ogden Nash's was used at Adam and Kaela's last year. I forget that I posted both of them :)
that's it! that's it! that's exactly what i was looking for! :-D

oh, worry not--i'm up there, too, steeped in literary nerd-dom with the rest of you. i'm on this quest to find something decent to read that's lovey and wedding-ish without being contrived or totally insipid, so i've been searching all my books of poetry and the internet. everything i've seemed to run across was either penned by a lord byron soundalike, a 17-year-old emo kid, or a bitter, detail-fixated beat poet. or it could be found on an embroidered sampler.

the ogden nash *and* the khalil gibran, though, are totally awesome. thank you! thank you! :-D
you are welcome.