“Do I repeat myself? Very well then, I repeat myself.”
The study and practice of three repeating forms: the triolet, the pantoum, and the villanelle.
Why do certain poetic forms insist on repeating themselves, and why are their patterns of repetition not only not monotonous, but an essential strategy of their effectiveness and meaning? Three such forms are the triolet, the pantoum, and the villanelle, each of which, in its own way, demonstrates how a seemingly limiting device, the reliance on repetends, opens up limitless possibilities of poetic expression.
This workshop will concentrate on an investigation of these forms, and will include analysis of how and why they work as well as what subject matter seems most appropriate for each of them. Outstanding poems in the forms will be introduced and examined, but most of the in-class time will be devoted to a close reading and discussion of the participants’ own work in triolets, pantoums, and villanelles.