What is Villanelle Poetry?
Villanelle is a form of poetry, which has joined the English poetry during the 19th century from the replication of French models.
Villanelle is an expression derived from the term ‘Villano’ which is an Italian word that means peasant. Villanelle is originally known as a song created for dance, which is sung by Renaissance troubadour. It has a rustic or pastoral theme and has no form in particular. Villanus is in fact the Latin word for rustic.
Villanelle Poetry is a form of poetry with two rhyming sounds. A Villanelle poem is written with nineteen lines composition. It includes five lines with triplets feature and one quatrain. Throughout the whole poem, only two rhyming sounds should be used. The whole of the first line is basically shown in repetition to lines six, twelve, and eighteen. The content at the third line is replicated as to lines nine, fifteen, and nineteen. This form makes the lines, showcasing the first intertwining triplet lines throughout the entire poem just like what you see in the refrains of a conventional song. It also frames the ending part of a concluding stanza.
The Villanelle is most famously labeled as a French form. However, the majority of Villanelles are English. Among the famous writers who practice Villanelle poetry into their works are Oscar Wilde, Austin Dobson, and Edwin Arlington Robinson. These renowned writers are all English.
The form did not flourish in France but it has widely become popular in English. One of the most famous Villanelle poems is composed by Dylan Thomas and is entitled, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night. Another example is called One Art and is penned by Elizabeth Bishop.
Contemporary Villanelle practitioners have chosen to expand from the somewhat rigid form of Villanelle poetry. Far from the limited pastoral themes expressed from Renaissance Villanelles, the practitioners of Villanelle poetry today use loosened forms instead. This allows them to make way for variations and diversity in the refrains.