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TAKING THE BITE OUT OF THE VILLANELLE - Cyndi MacMillan's Blog

About Cyndi MacMillan
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Cyndi MacMillan's current projects include three children's book series. Her "life as a writer' blogs can be read at  https://cyndimacmillan.wordpress.com/  Three of her poems have been published in Room magazine, issue 49.4, This Body's Maps, https://roommagazine.com/issues/bodys-map  Two poems have been published in the Prairie Journal ( Issue 67)http://www.prairiejournal.org/subscribe.html   Other poems can be found in Fieldstone Review, Issue 2015 http://www.fieldstonereview.usask.ca/article.php?article=167, Grain Magazine, issue 42.4, Summer 2015, Passed Signs/New Fields http://www.grainmagazine.ca/424  , The Steel Chisel, April 2016, http://www.thesteelchisel.ca/april2016_07.html.  The Centrifugal Eye, Spring 2016, the Unformed issue  http://www.centrifugaleye.com/ . She participated in the 20 Poem Challenge at The Ekphrastic Review: Writing and Art on Art and Writing, and thirteen of her poems have been published by the journal.http://www.ekphrastic.net/apps/search?q=Cyndi+MacMillan.

Her fiction has appeared in local newspapers and has won contests. Her short story, Missed Steps, has been published by the Windsor Review  https://view.joomag.com/windsor-review/0830468001484586649 . She enjoys reading literary journals, and she is actively pursuing further publication within their glossy covers while writing chapter books and early middle readers.

Poetry soup is a friendly forum which enables people from around the world to share their writing. It has some great resources and provides a nice space for people to connect.

Cyndi lives in a small town in Ontario with her husband, young daughter and far too many books.

.


TAKING THE BITE OUT OF THE VILLANELLE


Blog Posted:1/15/2014 8:35:00 PM

 

Five awesome villanelles, in my opinion.

 

 

Doomsday

 

The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans

Atop the broken universal clock:

The hour is crowed in lunatic thirteens.

 

Our painted stages fall apart by scenes

While all the actors halt in mortal shock:

The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans.

 

Streets crack through in havoc-split ravines

As the doomstruck city crumbles block by block:

The hour is crowed in lunatic thirteens.

 

Fractured glass flies down in smithereens;

Our lucky relics have been out in hock:

The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans.

 

God's monkey wrench has blasted all machines;

We never thought to hear the holy cock:

The hour is crowed in lunatic thirteens.

 

Too late to ask if end was worth the means,

Too late to calculate the toppling stock:

The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans,

The hour is crowed in lunatic thirteens.

 

 

--Sylvia Plath

 

 

One Art

 

 

The art of losing isn't hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

 

Lose something everyday. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.

 

Then practice losing further, losing faster:

places and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

 

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three poems/love'>loved houses went.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.

 

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

 

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident

the art of losing's not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

 

--Elizabeth Bishop

 

 

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

 

 

Are you not weary of ardent ways,

Lure of the fallen seraphim?

Tell no more of enchanted days.

 

Your eyes have set man's heart ablaze

And you have had your will of him.

Are you not weary of ardent ways?

 

Above the flame the smoke of praise

Goes up from ocean rim to rim

Tell no more of enchanted days.

 

Our broken cries and mournful lays

Rise in one eucharistic hymn.

Are you not weary of ardent ways?

 

While sacrificing hands upraise

The chalice flowing to the brim,

Tell no more of enchanted days.

 

And still you hold our longing gaze

With langorous look and lavish limb!

Are you not weary of ardent ways?

Tell no more of enchanted days.

 

---James Joyce

 

 

The Right Thing

 

 

Let others probe the mystery if they can.

Time-harried prisoners of Shall and Will--

The right thing happens to the happy man.

 

The bird flies out, the bird flies back again;

The hill becomes the valley, and is still;

Let others delve that mystery if they can.

 

God bless the roots!--Body and soul are one!

The small become the great, the great the small;

The right thing happens to the happy man.

 

Child of the dark, he can out leap the sun,

His being single, and that being all:

The right thing happens to the happy man.

 

Or he sits still, a solid figure when

The self-destructive shake the common wall;

Takes to himself what mystery he can,

 

And, praising change as the slow night comes on,

Wills what he would, surrendering his will

Till mystery is no more: No more he can.

The right thing happens to the happy man.

 

 

--Theodore Roethke

 

 

Theocritus: a Villanelle

 

 

O SINGER of Persephone!

 In the dim meadows desolate

Dost thou remember Sicily?

 

Still through the ivy flits the bee

 Where Amaryllis lies in state;

O Singer of Persephone!

 

Sim?tha calls on Hecate

 And hears the wild dogs at the gate;

Dost thou remember Sicily?

 

Still by the light and laughing sea

 Poor Polypheme bemoans his fate:

O Singer of Persephone!

 

And still in boyish rivalry

 Young Daphnis challenges his mate:

Dost thou remember Sicily?

 

Slim Lacon keeps a goat for thee,

 For thee the jocund shepherds wait,

O Singer of Persephone!

Dost thou remember Sicily?

 

Oscar Wilde

 

 

So, whatcha think? Do you like one, some, all?

 

Do any inspire you, make you ponder?

 

Share!

 

Hugs,
Cyndi

 

Please Login to post a comment
Date: 1/16/2014 2:44:00 PM
Those ARE good. I like the Wilde and Joyce ones the best. I don't know why, but the Wilde poem makes me think of a cabin I used to live in near a lake......???...must be the "dim meadows desolate" and "wild dogs at the gate"...coyotes used to kill my chickens...lol...whatever Caleb.
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Date: 1/16/2014 9:09:00 AM
I like them all Cyndi..Excellent post!!
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Date: 1/16/2014 8:42:00 AM
Joyce was genius with that line! Don't you get it? "Are you not weary of ardent ways" THINK about it! In this poem, where he retained perfect syllable counts, the ONE line in which he didn't is about BEING WEARY? About EXCESS? IT IS IRONY, poetic irony... he's toying with us "And still you hold our longing gaze/ With langorous look and lavish limb!" Oh, the OVERPLAY of alliteration, to rub our noses in his point, to ensure that we get it...
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MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 1/16/2014 9:02:00 AM
But then again, to write a poem AS a character in a piece of fiction, to capture the theme of novel and mesh it into one poem so that it echoes its central theme, well, it makes the rest of us look rather like dunderheads, yes? LOL!
Date: 1/16/2014 8:30:00 AM
Giorgio: ID/ i /ot ....LU/na/tic.... u/ni/VERS/al ... SMITH/er/eens .... CAL/cu/late... nope, don't see Plath's Doomsday as Iambic Pentameter ... Just MHO!... but I do see her putting iambic pentameter in, what I feel, is the most significant line in MOST villanelles...line 16, the first line of the closing stanza, which to me is the "turn" often deployed. She uses the meter in this line with intention...too LATE to ASK if END was WORTH the MEANS... she wanted to highlight this line, and does so artfully.
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Date: 1/15/2014 11:03:00 PM
enjoying these, sis, with my green tea and smile...flu gone?.. hugggs
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My Past Blog Posts

 
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