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.

2

Ballade paint chip poetry prompt

Linda Kruschke has set a challenge for this week’s paint chip poetry. Unusually she has not yet posted her poem for the prompt, but has promised it for Monday 11 January. Her full post with the paint chip colours is here.

To quote:
There were some interesting choices, including Beat Poetry, but I decided on the Ballade.
The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with are cowboy, polished stone, raw silk, spinach, avalanche, Rocky Mountains, and robin’s egg. I would like you to pick three of the paint chips for your Ballade. Choose the three that you think have the greatest connection to each other.

I learned that the form of a ballade is 3 verses of ababbcbC and an envoi bcbC, where C is a repeated line. After clicking on Linda’s links I consulted a wonderful paperback for further clarification of this form – How to be Well-versed in Poetry Edited by E.O.Parrott. I mentioned it previously on this blog and how I came to buy it on my photo blog.

A Ballade of Hazardous Weather

The avalanche of snow slides down
One of the Rocky Mountains.
Its whiteness mixes with brown,
As with a loud roar it gains
More and more stains.
Logs, rocks or polished stone
Cause terrible pains.
Selfless kindness will be shown.

Buried in snow’s no way to drown.
(Minor complaints like chilblains
Give some skiers a frown.)
Ski sticks akimbo like canes,
Their faint hope wanes.
Will they be able to phone
For helpful snow-chains?
Selfless kindness will be shown.

A rescuer coming from the town
Has brawn as well as brains.
He does not seek renown;
Hollow praises he disdains.
Common sense reigns.
The skiers are flown
To safety and trains.
Selfless kindness will be shown.

Now when it rains
Logs, rocks or polished stone
Can block the storm drains.
Selfless kindness will be shown.