Villanelle

Objectives: Students will be able to analyse Elizabeth Bishops ” One Art” poem by identifying its rhythmic pattern.

Text: One Art  by Elizabeth Bishop

Do Now: Read the poem out loud. What sound pattern do you notice? Pair share.

Mini Lesson and Guided Practice

The highly structured villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines. Using capitals for the refrains and lowercase letters for the rhymes, the form could be expressed as: A1 b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 A2.

Strange as it may seem for a poem with such a rigid rhyme scheme, the villanelle did not start off as a fixed form. During the Renaissance, the villanella and villancico (from the Italian villano, or peasant) were Italian and Spanish dance-songs. French poets who called their poems “villanelle” did not follow any specific schemes, rhymes, or refrains. Rather, the title implied that, like the Italian and Spanish dance-songs, their poems spoke of simple, often pastoral or rustic themes.

As a group, we read the poem in a dramatic way and put special emphasis on the repeated sounds.

Student independent Practice

In a small group, discuss ow the sound pattern impacts meaning and theme of the poem.

Check for understanding: Share our your analysis.