Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Game: Villanelle

Finals week has arrived. I can't quite believe that this semester is almost over, especially since I still have a few supplement essays to finish up for Stanford and Carnegie Mellon. At various points this semester I've commented to friends--likewise seniors--that I can't wait for 2014 to get here, so I can finally relax.

I've been working fairly hard recently, and my brain needs a break. Let's play a game.

(I'm making up the rules as I go along. Bear with me.)

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You will need:


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My results:

  • color: bright green
  • song: Ich Will - Rammstein
  • word: occupation

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Okay, now what do we do with these things?

Let's write a villanelle.

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Say what?

A villanelle: five three-line stanzas + one four-line stanza. "The first line of the first stanza serves as the last line of the second and fourth stanzas, and the third line of the first stanza serves as the last line of the third and fifth stanzas." Fine example: Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night."

Why are we doing this live? Because I've been reading Austin Kleon's blog and his new book, Show Your Work, seems to be all about opening up your process, sharing unfinished things, WIPs, instead of waiting until you have something "perfect" to show for your time.

So. Our turn. Brace yourselves.

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Forest King

(source)

Sometimes they call me forest king
Crowned with thorns, bedecked with snow
I rather want too many things

The wild birds that lift their wings
Into my arms by storms are blown
Sometimes they call me forest king

The stags their antlers skyward fling
Against my will they southbound go
I rather want too many things

Beneath the earth they are living:
The slumbering beasts whom cold lays low
Sometimes they call me forest king

When bright pale leaves do say it's spring
The town prepares its yearly show
I rather want too many things

So to my heart they children bring
Across my roots their blood does flow
Sometimes they call me forest king
I rather want too many things

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...I was not expecting that. I also don't think I put in "occupation," but then, the point of prompts is not to build a box to stay inside but rather a board off which to bounce ideas.

Your turn. Share your results if you like; if not, then don't.

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