A Villanelle

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A Villanelle

A Villanelle

Today we bring you, courtesy of Geoffrey Landis, a villanelle about a villanelle.

"A Villanelle" by Geoffrey A. Landis

I’m in the middle of a villanelle
It should be saucy, short and sweet
But it’s not going very well

Trying to write is giving me hell
What words will make my thoughts concrete?
I’m in the middle of a villanelle

It’s prying a pearl from an oyster shell
To find a line I can repeat
And I don’t think it’s going well

Will it be a classic? I just can’t tell
I just won’t know till it’s complete
I’m in the middle of a villanelle

I don’t care if it’s good, I just want it to sell
If I have to hawk it on the street
But I think it’s going not so well

The poem should ring like a carillon bell
It should be good enough to eat
I’m in the middle of a villanelle
And I don’t think it’s going very well.


"A Villanelle" by Geoffrey A. Landis was first published in Magna Poets, January 2010 before appearing in the online chapbook Fortieth Anniversary Celebration of the Poetry Workshop at Cuyahoga County Public Library,  October 2013. Used with permission of the author.

Geoffrey A. Landis has won the Hugo and Nebula awards and is the author of the novel, Mars Crossing. He has published poetry in numerous magazines and anthologies and has twice won the Rhysling award for best science fiction poem, given by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. For more, visit his website.