What is a villanelle?
A villanelle is a highly structured form of poetry characterized by its specific rhyme scheme and repeating lines. Traditionally consisting of five tercets (three-line stanzas) followed by a quatrain (a four-line stanza), the villanelle is known for its intricate pattern of repetition. The first and third lines of the initial tercet alternate as the final lines of the following tercets and then combine as the last two lines of the quatrain. This creates a looping effect, reinforcing key themes or sentiments throughout the poem. One of the most recognizable features of the villanelle is its refrains—two lines repeated throughout the poem. These refrains anchor the poem's structure and lend it a musical quality. Despite its rigid form, the villanelle offers poets a unique challenge and opportunity for creativity within its constraints. Poets must navigate the repetition of lines while maintaining coherence and depth of meaning, resulting in a poetic form that celebrates both discipline and innovation.
What is a villanelle generator?
a villanelle generator, also known as villanelle maker or villanelle writer, generates villanelles for you using artificial intelligence. Follow these 3 steps to generate a villanelle:
- Select the type of poem: In this case, select "Villanelle" from the drop-down list.
- Describe your poem: You should include the theme or subject of the villanelle and any relevant information you want to be included, such as the characters' backgrounds or the setting of the poem.
- Generate the poem: Click the big "Generate poem" button and watch as the AI villanelle generator does its magic. When it's finished, you can share the poem with the world, or if you're not happy, regenerate another villanelle about the same topic.
How do you write a villanelle?
Here are the steps to write a villanelle:
- Understand the structure: Familiarize yourself with the structure of a villanelle. It consists of five tercets (three-line stanzas) and a concluding quatrain (four-line stanza). Each tercet follows a strict rhyme scheme, and the first and third lines of the opening tercet are alternately repeated throughout the poem.
- Choose a theme or subject: Decide on the theme or subject you want to explore in your villanelle. It could be love, loss, nature, or any other topic that resonates with you.
- Determine the refrains: The refrains are the repeated lines in the villanelle. Choose two lines that will serve as the refrains and create the desired effect when repeated. Typically, the first and third lines of the opening tercet are used as the refrains.
- Develop the rhyme scheme: In a villanelle, the rhyme scheme for each tercet is ABA, where the first and third lines of each tercet rhyme with each other. Plan the rhyming words accordingly.
- Create a rough outline: Sketch a rough outline of your villanelle by noting down the refrains and the rhyming words for each tercet. This will help you visualize the structure and flow of the poem.
- Craft the first tercet: Begin your villanelle by introducing your theme or subject in the first tercet. Make sure the first and third lines rhyme.
- Establish the repetition: In the second tercet, repeat the first refrain (the first line of the opening tercet) as the last line. This establishes the pattern of repetition.
- Develop the subsequent tercets: Continue writing the remaining tercets, making sure to alternate between the two refrains as the last lines. The first refrain should be repeated in the third line of the tercet, and the second refrain should be repeated in the final line.
- Conclude with the quatrain: In the concluding quatrain, use both refrains. The first refrain should be the penultimate line, and the second refrain should be the final line of the poem. This brings the villanelle to a satisfying conclusion.
- Refine and revise: Once you have written the initial draft of your villanelle, revise it for clarity, rhythm, and imagery. Pay attention to the flow and ensure that the repetition is consistent throughout the poem. Make any necessary adjustments to improve the overall structure and impact.
Example of a villanelle
They are all gone away, The House is shut and still, There is nothing more to say. Through broken walls and gray The winds blow bleak and shrill: They are all gone away. Nor is there one to-day To speak them good or ill: There is nothing more to say. Why is it then we stray Around the sunken sill? They are all gone away, And our poor fancy-play For them is wasted skill: There is nothing more to say. There is ruin and decay In the House on the Hill: They are all gone away, There is nothing more to say.
By Edwin Arlington Robinson