6

Paint chip villanelle

This week’s prompt from Linda Kruschke is for a villanelle.

The definition in the poetry dictionary Linda is using for these prompts is very long. Do read her post for the definition, colours and the poem she has written as well as links to other villanelles.

She writes:

‘My challenge to you today is to write a villanelle with octosyllabics. I’m a big fan of the eight-syllable line. You may, as John Drury mentions later in the definition, alter the exact wording of your refrains if you choose. I think the original theme of country people has long since been left by the wayside, so I don’t expect you to follow that part of the definition, but you can if you want to. Just remember that you had better really like your first and third lines because you’ll be repeating them.

‘My tip for you, as you write a poem in this interesting form, is to write the following rhyme/refrain scheme down the margin of your paper to help you keep track. A1/b/A2, a/b/A1, a/b/A2, a/b/A1, a/b/A2, a/b/A1/A2.

‘The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with in crafting your villanelle are marigold, ice cap, deep-sea vent, Earl Grey, porcelain, elephant, and euphoria.

‘I would like you to use at least three of these paint chips in your poem. You can also use your own descriptive words for the colors of the paint chips. For example, you might think marigold looks more like day lily or summer sun. I mean, what fun is it to have colors as part of the chips and not get to play with those too?’

How to be Well-versed in Poetry
How to be Well-versed in Poetry

For this challenge I have written my second poem about Earl Grey. My first poem was dramatic monologue.

I found an entertaining villanelle consisting of instructions for writing one in the book, How to be well-versed in poetry, which I mentioned previously.

Tea-drinking villanelle

Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey
When the weather was ice-cap cold
(Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay)

Or on a glorious summer’s day
When the sun set like marigold
Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey.

Some add milk or sugar; say
Whether you drink it hot or cold!
(Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay)

Others add lemon or ice – hey!
Not the fashion in days of old.
Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey,

Remembered for it to this day,
But how he drank it we’re not told –
Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay.

I take my tea decaffeina-
ted sooner than it might go cold.
Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey;
Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay.

5

Dramatic monologue paint chip poetry prompt

Linda Kruschke’s paint chip poetry challenge can be found here with a definition of dramatic monologue and the paint chip colours as well as her poem.

This week we are in the D section of the dictionary and I’ve decided to challenge you all to write dramatic monologue…

…You may decide who your speaker will be first, and then figure out what they will say using the paint chip words and phrases. Or perhaps the paint chips will help you decide who your speaker will be. It’s up to you. Please title your poem “____________ Speaks.” And please include at least four of these words and phrases in your dramatic monologue: bluebird, Earl Grey, pearl, mountain town, baby sweater, rain forest, and cello.

Earl Grey speaks

In my home county of Northumberland
My family was thought rather grand.
The countryside has grandeur too
With miles of hills to ride or drive through.

My upbringing was highly privileged
Our dinner services were gold-edged.
Our entertainment was high class
Strings, like cello, rather than brass.

In parliament I sought to serve.
The Tories thought I had a nerve.
The pearl of great price I strived for,
Was that folk would be slaves no more.

It seemed completely out of order
That folk from outside our border,
From mountain town or rain forest
Should have to follow our behest.

I also wanted more people to vote.
This reform was something of note.
But people mostly know the tea
That was oddly named after me.

Facts about the former Prime Minister, Earl Grey were found here.