The first of its kind--a comprehensive collection of the best of the villanelle, a delightful poetic form whose popularity ranks only behind that of the sonnet and the haiku. With its intricate rhyme scheme and dance-like pattern of repeating lines, its marriage of recurrence and surprise, the villanelle is a form that has fascinated poets since its introduction almost two centuries ago. Many well-known poets in the past have tried their hands at the villanelle, and the form is enjoying a revival among poets writing today. The poems collected here range from the classic villanelles of the nineteenth century to such famous and memorable examples as Dylan Thomas's "Do not go gentle into that good night," Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art," and Sylvia Plath's "Mad Girl's Love Song." Here too are the cutting-edge works of contemporary poets, including Sherman Alexie, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Rita Dove, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, and many others whose poems demonstrate the dazzling variety that can be found within the parameters of a single, strict form.
About the Author
ANNIE FINCH's six books of poetry include Eve, Calendars, and Spells: New and Selected Poems. Her work has appeared onstage at Carnegie Hall and in The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Her collection Calendars was shortlisted for the Foreword Poetry Book of the Year Award and her verse play Among the Goddesses: An Epic Libretto in Seven Dreams received the Sarasvati Award for Poetry. Finch has also written and edited books about poetry, including A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women, The Body of Poetry: Essays on Women, Form, and the Poetic Self, A Poet's Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry, Villanelles, and Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters. In 2011 she received the Robert Fitzgerald Award for her lifetime contribution to the art and craft of versification. She teaches in the MFA program at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and has just finished a new nonfiction book, The Witch in You: Five Directions to Your Inner Goddess. MARIE-ELIZABETH MALI Marie-Elizabeth Mali is the author of Steady, My Gaze (2011) and serves as co-curator for the Page Meets Stage reading series in New York City.