Anatomy of a villanelle | Soundbytes

Harvard University on August 30, 2013 18:21

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    In an interview last year, Seamus Heaney reflected on writing a villanelle to mark Harvard’s 350th anniversary in 1986. “There’s a performance element to it,” he said of the song-like poetic form of 19 lines used brilliantly by Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Bishop, and just a few others. Read it too smooth and it sounds “pat,” said Heaney, who reprised the poem at Harvard in 2012. Read it too rough and “it sounds galumphing along.”

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