Sunday, September 17, 2006

Villanelle of Spring Bells


I hope you don't mind but I copied this definition of villanelle form from 'Wikipedia' because I found a brilliant thought provoking villanelle by Keith Douglas, that almost reminds me of the last posting and I found another picture of the Aberdeen skyline that fits quite well.


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The villanelle has no established meter, although most nineteenth-century villanelles had eight or six syllables per line and most twentieth-century villanelles have ten syllables per line. The essence of the form is its distinctive pattern of rhyme and repetition, with only two rhyme-sounds ("a" and "b") and two alternating refrains that resolve into a concluding couplet. The following is the schematic representation of a villanelle in its fixed modern form: Line one (A1) and Line three (A2) are rhymed refrains.

Refrain 1 (a)
Line 2 (b)
Refrain 2 (a)

Line 3 (a)
Line 4 (b)
Refrain 1 (a)

Line 5 (a)
Line 6 (b)
Refrain 2 (a)

Line 7 (a)
Line 8 (b)
Refrain 1 (a)

Line 9 (a)
Line 10 (b)
Refrain 2 (a)

Line 11 (a)
Line 12 (b)
Refrain 1 (a)
Refrain 2 (a)

Villanelle of Spring Bells

Bells in the town alight with spring

converse, with a concordance of new airs

make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.


People emerge from winter to hear them ring,

children glitter with mischief and the blind man hears

bells in the town alight with spring.


Even he on his eyes feels the caressing

finger of Persephone, and her voice escaped from tears

make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.


Bird feels the enchantment of his wing

and in ten fine notes dispels twenty cares.

Bells in the town alight with spring


warble the praise of Time, for he can bring

this season: chimes the merry heaven bears

make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.


All evil men intent on evil thing

falter, for in their cold unready ears

bells in the town alight with spring

make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.

1940

Keith Douglas


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