Contrast/Villanelles/”Villain-elle” (With Watercolors and Elephants)

I am a great lover of villanelles.  I am reposting “Villain-elle” today because it illustrates an important tool in villanelle writing: contrast. 

Contrast in poetry, the subject of a thoughtful prompt by Victoria C. Slotto for dVerse Poets Pub , is a useful tool for effects in all poetry, but it is especially useful in the repeating, and potentially static,  lines of a villanelle.  Contrast in a villanelle can come through changes in meaning, homonyms, enjambment (the breaking up and running over of lines), elephants.   (Note that I tried to put the lines of the poem in the drawings but they are incomplete and blurry so I’ve put them below each drawing, and the full poem below that.)  (I am also linking this poem to the poets’ rally.)

He twirled his ‘stache when he thought no one could see
and kept away from rope and railroad track,
for a cartoon villain was not what he would be–

what he sought was originality.
Wearing a hat that was not quite white, nor black,
he twirled his ‘stache when he thought no one could see,

until the day he met that Miss Bonnee,
whose single smile made all his knees go slack.

Though a cartoon villain was not what he would be,

she steered him to a classic robbery,
a bank heist with a gun, a car out back,

He twirled his ‘stache when he thought no one could see,

but see they could, if only digitally.

She whispered, as she relieved him of the sack,
that cartoon villain was not what he would be,

“my hero,” and other murmured fiddle-dee,


till his bent head received a good hard whack.

She twirled her stash when she thought no one could see.
A cartoon villain was not what she would be.

Here’s the poem without elephants!

VILLAIN-ELLE

He twirled his ‘stache when he thought no one could see
and kept away from rope and railroad track,
for a cartoon villain was not what he would be–

what he sought was originality.
Wearing a hat that was not quite white, nor black,
he twirled his ‘stache when he thought no one could see,

until the day he met that Miss Bonnee,
whose single smile made all his knees go slack.
Though a cartoon villain was not what he would be,

she steered him to a classic robbery,
a bank heist with a gun, a car out back,
He twirled his ‘stache when he thought no one could see,

but see they could, if only digitally.
She whispered, as she relieved him of the sack,
that cartoon villain was not what he would be,

“my hero,” and other murmured fiddle-dee,
till his bent head received a good hard whack.
She twirled her stash when she thought no one could see.
A cartoon villain was not what she would be.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

P.S.  If you like humor, poetry or elephants, don’t forget to check out my books NOSE DIVE, GOING ON SOMEWHERE and 1 MISSISIPPI on Amazon.  Thanks much.

P.P.S. = Accidentally dropped “Whack” painting from first posting of this.  So sorry!  (Kind of tired when posting but had a nap now!)

Explore posts in the same categories: elephants, poetry, Uncategorized, villanelle

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45 Comments on “Contrast/Villanelles/”Villain-elle” (With Watercolors and Elephants)”

  1. vivinfrance Says:

    Brilliant – drawings, villanelle, words and all. I’m so glad you posted this.

  2. leah J. Lynn Says:

    This was an imaginative piece of work


  3. Damn, you’re good, Karin. I enjoyed both versions, as well as the didactic re: the villanelle. I’ve only written one of these…an intimidating form for me. Although I love sestinas. Go figure.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha, thanks. Villanelles much shorter than sestinas!!!! Also you only have to come up with a few lines after you’ve got the main two. (Lazy person’s form!) K.

  4. zongrik Says:

    the drawing were amazing, but the fact that you can write a classic form with the cartoons is even more amazing

  5. Mary Says:

    Well, this was an unexpected treasure to come upon tonight! The drawings were great, but then the poem…..amazing!

  6. brian miller Says:

    this is fabulous…love that you included illustrations as well…a delight ful read…and love the new header as well…

  7. claudia Says:

    this is just awesome karin.. i have never ever read and seen such a creative villanelle before..love the illustrations..

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks to kind commentators. I realize I left one of the paintings out when posting earlier! The “Whack” painting, which is kind of pivotal. Oh dear. It’s that season, I guess, for forgetting stuff, even as remembering! I’ve fixed it now. Thanks.

  8. oceangirl Says:

    Most enjoyable and the illustration glorious.

  9. Seek the Sun Says:

    What a fun and creative way to illustrate a poem. I have more difficulty, myself, with structured poetry but you make it look easy.


  10. Fiddle-dee stash-stache
    Cheeky fun
    A femme fatale and
    An elephant gun!

  11. hedgewitch Says:

    A very adroit and whimsical villanelle–I love the drawings and the plays on words, esp in the final stanza–twirling her stash indeed. Poor elephant chump. You are making me want to revisit this form, Karin, you do it so smoothly and have so much to say with it. Hope your holidays are as delightful as this poem.

  12. David King Says:

    Oh, this is just too good. It’s not fair that one person should be so good at so much.

  13. Natalie Says:

    playful and handsome art. wow.

  14. ankush Says:

    informative, creative, fabulous!


  15. I love it–with or without the pics! A wonderful and well told story, using a nice form!
    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/another-will-be-born/

  16. dswan2 Says:

    Fun bit of whimsy. Thanks!


  17. this is pretty, amazing, when is the book coming out? 🙂
    happy rally!!!
    http://lynnaima.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/souls-paradise/


  18. This is a new form I have never known about. I have learned quite a bit by this posting. I enjoyed the drawings, too. I thought the whole things was brilliant.
    Happy Rally,
    Isadora
    Isadora

  19. tinkwelborn Says:

    very, very artful! love it.
    the elephantoons were really neat additions, too.
    bottom line: an enjoyable read, indeed.


  20. […] the most fun one is probably an illustrated one I did as a children’s story called Villain-elle.  (With […]


  21. very cool…remember this one…ha…never trust an elephant who twirls his ´’stache or stash..ha…..love your sense of humor k…and very cool illustrations

  22. David King Says:

    Love this, it’s absolutely brilliant. I shall be chuckling for the rest of the day – and I’m not normally a chuckler! Thanks a lot for the link.

  23. kkkkaty Says:

    I’m delighted to find there’s more to the turnip entry today…very smart, indeed! and I love your illustrations..

  24. Susan Says:

    How cool and fun and beautifully illustrated. Why not publish? Baba is not the last word in elephants!


  25. Haha and impressive that you managed to tame the form to use it for expressing a narrative, which by its nature it resists. Loved the illustrations and the silliness. Thanks for directing me to it.

  26. vb holmes Says:

    So glad you led me to this delightful villanelle and the cool illustrations. Much fun. Now I have an additional incentive to answer Bjorn’s challenge to write a murder villanelle. Very well done, Karin.


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