Craft, or: Authenticity

A villanelle

Many modern bards deem rhyming passé,
An obstacle to deep self-expression,
Though one asks if impatience~ craft betrays?

Artists must create, for it's thus they pray,
Each in preferred mode at their discretion...
Many modern bards deem rhyming passé.

Unfettered freedom is today's great craze;
And most art's wrought to make deep impression...
Though one asks if impatience~ craft betrays?

We oft dismiss tried-true old-fashioned ways,
Finding "self" ~ for most writers ~ obsession...
Many modern bards deem rhyming passé.

Rule-following natural flow delays;
Poetic forms can cause great digressions...
Though one asks if impatience~ craft betrays?

Deep authenticity deserves our praise...
So, why should poets make stiff concessions?
Many modern bards deem rhyming passé...
Though one asks if impatience~ craft betrays?


  • Villanelles are required to have an intricate rhyme scheme and two lines that are refrains;
  • If we call the first line A and the third line A’, and any line that rhymes with them a, the rhyme scheme is AbA’ abA abA’ abA abA’ abAA’;
    • The 1st line and 3rd line, the refrains, are repeated four times each;
      • The 1st line appears at the end of stanzas 2 and 4 and as the second-to-last line in stanza 6;
      • The 3rd line appears at the end of stanzas 3, 5, and 6.

d’Verse poetics prompt

Pounding the Pentameter!

At d’Verse, poets were encouraged to do write poems in iambic pentameter.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

65 thoughts on “Craft, or: Authenticity”

  1. Very relatable, David. The villanelle is not my favorite form, but it works very well for you in this poem. Bravo! Styles come and go, but I think the classic forms will always endure. Rhyme, though it can become monotonous, is delightful when done well! ❤

  2. Good questions, all. I’ve always been suspicious of literary journals who refuse form or rhyme–why limit expression? A structure, in all arts, can fine-tune your thinking. (K)

  3. Rhyming can be a bit like Marmite! But personally, it depends on the mood I’m in. Appreciate how so often your work causes me to stop and consider.

  4. Very well done David! Great form and flow. Authenticity is what makes poetry real. Form tends to dilute the authenticity unless very well crafted! You have shown us how to do it right!

      1. I mean that if we read carefully many who write free verse, actually disguise rhymes by making them internal instead of at the end of each line, or you break up a pentameter over two lines sometimes and it looks at first as something else. Already Shakespeare did this in for instance the witches of Macbeth…

  5. Well done. That next-to-the-last stanza speaks for me!! (By the way, David, the purple print on black background is next to impossible to read!. I only do it for you!)

      1. For me technically complexed, it would require intense study
        And reading the pattern over and over again, I doubt I’d find the stitches to knit it and here
        You conquered the Villanella!!!
        👏Many modern bards deem rhyming passé, An obstacle to deep self-expression, Though one asks if impatience~ craft betrays?👏

        Statement of fact and pertinent question

  6. I don’t find it restrictive at all, but apparently many people do 😅 in fact, I find it hard to write free verse…

Comments are closed.