Definition of villanelle A villanelle is a nineteen-line literary form with a tight pattern of repetition and rhyme scheme. The rhyme system requires repeated lines to rhyme, as well as the second line of each tercet to rhyme. There are two basic forms of villanelle: the Italian and the French.
The Italian villanelle is usually tercetal (three quatrains) and often satirical or jocose. It originated in Italy in the 13th century and was popular among poets throughout Europe. It is characterized by its regular alternation of long and short syllables within each line. The French villanelle is also tercetal but it lacks satire or humor and is generally in lamenting tone. It originated in France in the 14th century and was popular during the Renaissance period.
Villanelles were originally musical settings of poems. They continue today as traditional songs sung to the piano or other keyboard instrument. Many artists have recorded villanelles over the years, including Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven.
In poetry, the villanelle is used for portraying mental anguish or melancholy.
The villanelle is a poetry style that employs repeated lines and a tight rhyming pattern throughout its 19 lines, which are divided into six stanzas. Villanelles have a lyrical feel to them, and their organized lines create a song-like poetry. They're typically about the brevity of love, but they can also be about other sad or serious subjects.
Love is eternal, though; it's also unpredictable and irrational. Love can make you do crazy things. It can hurt too. But even through all this, love remains strong.
Eternal love is an important theme in many poems, songs, and musical compositions. It was popular during the Renaissance period, when poets such as Petrarch and Ariosto wrote about lost loves. It continues today with artists like Wallace Stevens and John Lennon.
Eternal love is also seen in art forms other than poetry. Opera singers often sing songs about the brevity of love because once they've sung these songs once, they cannot again cover the same material. Classical musicians write symphonies about love being eternal because every time they play a section of a symphony, it can never be played again exactly as written.
Love is also important to religion. All major religions discuss love among their highest ideals. Christians believe love is stronger than death, while Buddhists believe love is infinite.
A villanelle is a 19-line poem composed of five tercets and a quatrain at the end. Lines can be any length, although they are usually written in iambic pentameter with an ABA rhyme scheme. Line repetition is also used in the villanelle. The first three lines of each section of the poem should all begin with the same word or phrase to create a pattern that links the sections together.
In terms of meter, the villanelle is similar to a sonnet: it has 14 lines divided into two parts of seven lines each. But while a sonnet follows the formal order of AA BB CC DD EE FF GG, the lines of a villanelle follow the pattern of AB AC AD AE AF BG CB CD EC FD GE HF GV GH.
There are many variations on the villanelle theme, but they all share several common features: five-line sections called "tercets" that contain a central idea or group of ideas, often with a twist; a closing four-line stanza called a "quatrain."
The term "villanelle" comes from the Italian poet Torquato Tasso (1544–1595), who invented it to describe his own poetic form.
The Villanelle's Form
The formal characteristics of the villanelle are emphasized: the poem's opening line is repeated as a refrain at the end of the second and fourth tercets, while the third line is repeated at the end of the third and fifth tercets. These repetitions are examples of monotony avoided by varying the number of lines that repeat itself.
Furthermore, the first two stanzas are identical, except for the position of one word: "alone" in place of "also". This variation in language reflects the different perspectives taken by each of the speakers in the poem.
Finally, even though the last three lines of each stanza begin with an unstressed syllable, this does not affect their rhythm or meaning. Thus, despite its formal similarities to the sonnet, the villanelle is actually more like a regular ballad in which several songs or poems are combined into one narrative.
These comparisons should make it clear that although the villanelle is a relatively new form, it has many similarities to other well-known poems such as the sonnet and the ballad. In fact, it can be considered the Italian counterpart to these poems.
The villanelle was probably introduced to Italy during the 13th century.
The villanelle contains simply two rhymes that appear repeatedly throughout the poem. Each tercet uses the rhyme scheme ABA, whereas the quatrain uses the pattern ABAA. Villanelles include two refrains, which are lines of verse that recur throughout the piece. In general, the more refrains there are, the more formal is the poem.
Yes, usually the poet gives the poem a title. This can be interesting if you want to reference the poem later; for example, "The Lady's Mode of Dress" or "A Monologue by Laura." More often than not, however, the title is just an arbitrary thing humans do with language. In this case, any word that begins with the first letter of the alphabet is considered a title. So "Go Tell It on the Mountain" would also be a title of this poem.
Even though they contain many of the same lines, each version of this poem is still unique because the order in which those lines are used is different. For example, in some versions the last line of the first tercet is used as the first line of the next tercet, and so on.