Most of you know that I have a certain affection/obsession with sonnets, but I have been tinkering with a new poetic form, called a villanelle, in recent days. Similar to a sonnet, villanelles have a fixed rhyme scheme and predefined structure and length. These features appeal to me because such constraints often force me to be more creative; my first thought is rarely my best. Villanelles offer one more constraint by adding an alternating repetition of a pair of rhymed phrases. The repetition can be really interesting and allows for some pretty clever double entendres and meanings twisted by context.
All that being said, I don’t feel up to the task of writing a good one yet (or perhaps ever) so I am distracting myself by reading some excellent examples written by much more talented, more accomplished, and more dead poets than myself. One of the first I stumbled on was, The House on the Hill by Edwin Arlington Robinson. As I read it, I couldn’t help wishing that I had written these words for one of my previous photo challenges about an old decrepit house.
Here’s Robinson’s poem (the one I wish I had written):

They are all gone away,
The House is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.

Through broken walls and gray
The winds blow bleak and shrill.
They are all gone away.

Nor is there one to-day
To speak them good or ill:
There is nothing more to say.

Why is it then we stray
Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away,

And our poor fancy-play
For them is wasted skill:
There is nothing more to say.

There is ruin and decay
In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say