Friday, January 25, 2013

2013.01.25 — Introducing the Villanaiku: a Published Poem-Like Thing

On January 9th of this year, I read Gareth Jones blog entry "The Villanelle is the Most Restrictive of Sandwich Forms". I enjoyed the short blog and the link he provided because it formally introduced me to a poetry form, the Villanelle, with which I was completely unfamiliar by name. I knew of it only by Dylan Thomas's poem
Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night. I did not know that that was a villanelle because, I didn't know that the villanelle existed. [Click Do Not Go Gentle Into the Good Night to listen to Thomas reading his villanelle.]

Well, a few days later, in the delightful Haiku thread game in the WSSC&C, Ellis wrote a delightful Haiku that inspired me to word-play off a female villain, i.e. a villainess. And with my having read a few days earlier Gareth's villanelle blog, out from my imagination popped my first ever try at a variation on villanelle, the Haiku villanelle or, as I've dubbed it, the villanaiku. To introduce it, here's the Haiku that inspired it:
Maggie, of the crew,
a fierce pirate, capable,
whiskey-smelling, foul.

Slams down a shot glass,
the man with the mom tattoo
frightened that he's next

hides in the corner,
like the rest, when she's looking
for an arm-wrestle.
I was reasonably pleased with my first effort because as it happens the villanelle is truly a difficult form, and great challenge. Here is what I created:
What a villanelle!
Of song and tough female made,
and a bagatelle.

Wicked fame can tell
who is strong and who afraid
of the villanelle.

And she can foretell
just how his cards will be played
by that bagatelle.

Now in her dark spell
and with this false maid he's made
her danse villanelle.

He's ship-bound for hell
in silk clothes strangely arrayed
as her bagatelle.

His heart hears the bell.
And dies with all his hopes flayed
by his villanelle,
her sweet bagatelle.
I think that that is okay. The purists will note that I have not just perverted the form very formally with my Haiku, but more importantly, with my poorly constructed refrains. So, truly not great, not even really good, but the lazy boring slowly and drawn out ooooookkkkkaaaaay.

But a few more Haiku-things later in the WSSC&C my curiosity got the better of me, and so I gave the villanaiku another try. And this one I liked much more, and so did Rose at The Houseboat mixed media blog. Enough to publish it on her first blog dedicated to Haiku. And since that is a form of publication, and I have decided to allow my blog to be completely self serving on published works, here is perhaps the world's first published villanaiku:
His words for the eye
flow with easy false answers
that satisfy why.

Her verbs won't stand by
as mute second rate dancers,
his words for the eye.

For what do you sigh?
Not these monstrous word cancers,
that satisfy why.

What's said at good bye
are the lost years' enhancers,
his words for the eye.

She cried 'I defy
you to escape the yes sirs,
that satisfy why!'

Her thoughts were to die
never sought by his answers
his words for the eye
that satisfy why.


  1. Hehehehehe. I love your haiku soooo much.When in creative writing class we were told to write a villanelle, I wanted to submit a villanaiku so badly!

    1. I am glad you enjoyed this effort. It was fun to write.

      And I would love to see you write either a villanelle or a villanaiku! Your writing is expression and moves in unexpected ways. Did you write something?

  2. Great poems. Love the name of the hybrid!

    Have you ever read the Manyoshu? You'd probably get a kick out of it. It was written before the haiku was created (which is actually just a starter poem for massive poetry games that were played in Basho's time). It's got some great works in it. :) (This is Alex, from WSSC&C by the way)

    1. Hello Alex! Yes, I recognized you from having visited your blog in the last while.

      I'm smiling at your appreciation for the name even more than you liking my effort because I kind of like the name too.

      And of course, thank you for commenting!

      You may find the fushigi things interesting. Be well.