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I loved the two poems given in Moodle ch. 10 "Villanelle Quiz". I feel like the repetition really emphasized the differences between the authors actions or verbal intentions and what the author was actually thinking. The deeper thoughts or repetitions of the poem seemed to relate more to the Derrida-type thoughts that we have throughout our days, for example turning our heads to look at the scene of a car crash. Are we looking to make sure people are okay or are we looking in hopes of seeing gore? These repetitions seemed to stick out more as the meaning of the poem than any of the other text. I think it would be fun to let our creativity push through Moodle by having to write a villanelle in an upcoming chapter. This could be another group work Moodle task to broaden our understanding of poetry. What did you think the repetition meant in the villanelle activity?
When reading these I thought more about Mr. Chisnell's meaning for repetition in the poems we read in class. At first, when we hear repetition, our immediate thought is that its purpose is to emphasize an idea or make something stand out. While that's often true, it almost always has a second point as well. This point in many cases is to change the meaning of the repeated phrase the second time. While this is most likely true in the Villanelle activity, it's less obvious than in other poems. I've considered the poems a few times, and I'm not completely sure how the repeated phrases could change meaning yet. It seems that more than anything, they're emphasizing the relation between phrases. When a phrase is repeated that many times, will it still have meaning? Or will it eventually repeat meanings? Can it have a new meaning every time?
I am more inclined to agree with Grace on this one. When a phrase is repeated in a poem or piece of writing, I always interpret each repeated line as a different meaning. The author wants you to see the line in a different light, or emphasize different words in that phrase. What would be the point of just saying the same line, in the same way, four times? It would be boring and not really have any deeper meaning than the author just trying to make their poem more interesting. The author repeated that line for a reason, and it's up to us to interpret that and figure it out.
When I read the poems from chapter 10, I thought the pattern of repetition present in the poem displays the speaker's fixation on certain ideas, and her failure to escape these ideas within her own mind. The repetition gives the impression of a mind running in circles, as the poem returns repeatedly to the same two lines: "I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. (I think I made you up in my head)." The way in which these ideas are repeated at the end of stanzas makes it seem as though the speaker is trying to think of other things over and over, and to distract herself. Additionally, the repetition of a line in parenthesis makes it seem like a though the speaker is trying to hide from herself; as though she keeps circling back to something almost shameful, that she doesn't want to think but can't escape from. It makes the reader understand the speaker's feelings toward these thoughts; she may not want to be thinking in the way she does but she can't evade the vision of the world dropping dead, and is second-guessing her own memory. I greatly enjoyed the style of poems and the repetition in them.
At first when I read the first Villanelle example I didn't really see the appeal. The poem was very simple and repetitive to the point that I didn't see what made it so special or unique. I thought it was almost a bit of a lazy format of poetry since you're using the same lines over and over again. After reading Sylvia Plath's Villanelle though I completely changed my mind. The repetition added so much emotion to the poem and it made you get lost in the story of the poem. The repetition made me curious about the psychology of the speaker and the writer and gave me interest in interpreting the poem in certain ways that relate directly to the repetition. All in all, I think Sylvia Plath's villanelle was especially interesting and it changed my mind on how I feel about that kind of format of poetry.
Upon writing my own villanelle, I was afraid that I wouldn’t follow the patterns that are required for work to be considered a villanelle correctly. It seemed simple, yet in my mind it was complicated. I feel that I did alright in the end, but still didn’t see the appeal personally. Like zoe mentioned I did love to read sylvia plaths work, but feel as a writer myself, I’d rather not write that way because I feel too restricted in what I can say and do.
Thank you for the responses! I agree with a lot of what was said about repetition in other poems having a different meaning for each repeated phrase or line, yet in a villanelle I thought that these repeated lines hidden in the parenthesis of the poem fit more of what Gwen was stating in her forum post. I think the repetition in Sylvia Plath's villanelle specifically represented more of the speaker's internal thoughts being tossed and turned around as she deals with external activities and situations. Are there other things that define a villanelle other than the very easily spotted repetition? Does a villanelle occur more often in one type of poetry (romantic, cynical, etc.) than others? I'd love to know the answers to these questions and hear what other people have to say about this type of poetry as well.
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