Friday, 12 August 2011


For to light a festival fire, that was my desire,
Then like Argent, I’d dance in the smoke,
As flames licked the wood then rose higher.
I do love a good blaze and I’m no liar,
Round the fire pit I’d caper, dad-dancing like any bloke,
For to light a festival fire, that was my desire.
It would be joyous glow, no funeral pyre,
I would only use timber, no coal or coke,
As the flames licked the wood then rose higher.
This fuel I’d bring with me to ensure it was drier,
And avoid smoke as I don’t want to choke,
For to light a festival fire that was my desire,
See, of flickering flames I never tire,
And those blazing embers I surely would stoke,
Such a conflagration would I sire,
Then skank a fire dance, though me rhythm is dire,
I’d groove in the smoke, it’s true, not a joke
For to light a festival fire, that was my desire
As flames licked the wood then rose higher.
After posting up some poetical tips the one but last entry I thought I should put my poetical money where my poetical mouth was and as I’d been urging you all to try out various standard forms of verse I should show you my attempt at a Villanelle .
You can get more information on the Villanelle here:
Basically though, a Villanelle has two rhymes and is 19 lines long, the rhyming scheme is a,b,a – for the first five verses then a quatrain with the first and third lines forming the final couplet, that’s abaa. The first line is repeated as lines 6, 12 and 18. The third line is repeated as 9 and 19.
Ok it sounds complex, but you have to play with it. In the past, when attempting a Villanelle as homework I have written the individual lines on paper then cut then out and arranged them but I found that destroyed the flow. This time I wrote out the rhymes I wanted to use and then spent some time trying to make it read well. I’m not sure it’s quite there yet.
And why this topic of festival fires? Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that I am the Festival Poet of the Purbeck Festival and yes, there will be an organised fire pit over the weekend. I am looking forward to dancing in the smoke (how many of you remember that song from Argent’s first lp?). There were amazing bonfires at the first Purbeck Festival and this year looks like being the best yet. You can look at the line up here:
Organiser Paul has suggested a Wild West theme for the festival so we can all dress up as cow people. There are still tickets on sale and for three days of quality music and four nights camping in the beautiful Dorset countryside they are a steal at £65.
If you do try your hand at a Villanelle, please send me the results and I’ll post them on Magpie Bridge.

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