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An update from our forty-sixth Writing Workshop with Conner Bassett

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday, October 22, plus some of the output published below

This week Emma Hoff, 10, led her third class since joining the Stone Soup workshops, and taught us all about the form poem known as the Villanelle. First, we went over the requirements of a villanelle:

  1. A villanelle has 6 stanzas
  2. First five stanzas have three lines
  3. Last stanza has four lines
  4. First and last line of each stanza rhyme
  5. First and third line of te first stanza repeat alternately in following stanzas as the final lines, until they both appear in the final stanza

The four villanelles we read were "The House on the Hill" by Edward Arlington Robinson, "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop, "The Waking by Theodore Roethke, and "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas. In all four poems, we noted that the poets had the option to play with the form by using off-rhymes and sometimes they didn't adhere to the rhyme scheme at all.

The Challenge: Write a poem in the form of a villanelle. It can be about anything you like and you should feel free to tweak the structure of the poem.

The Participants: Anushka, Benedetta, Savi, Arjun, Aditi, Samantha, Robert, Alice, Allie, Russell, Shelley, and led by Emma


Quiet Night

Emma Hoff, 10

It’s a quiet night, alone,
ashes on the ground instead of leaves,
cities turned to bone.

A voice, speaking over the phone,
the little girl, laughing,
it’s a quiet night, alone.

The scraggly pyramid shaped like a cone,
in front of which sits the hunched old man,
cities turned to bone.

On the clock the time is shown,
you sigh and admit its existence,
it’s a quiet night, alone.

You need to go home,
but you chew on your pen,
cities turned to bone.

You want to write one more poem,
but you can’t think of anything to say,
it’s a quiet night, alone,
cities turned to bone.

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