Sunday, June 23, 2019

Throw Out Your Best Lines!

—Elisavietta Ritchie

If you would write a villanelle

Choose two of your most brilliant lines, 

Ones you should have jettisoned.

Repeat them till you're bored

And so's your reader if he's stuck

This far through your villanelle.

Do likewise if you find a perfect rhyme.

Have no illusions that you are the first:

Whoever was, he should have jettisoned

All his favorite rhymes and lines.

So should you. Try fancy foreign forms

If you would write a villanelle.

As with new lovers: you repeat a line

Till you are bored and so is he or she,

That line you should have jettisoned,

For soon you may suspect that he's or she's

A villain/villainess who does not care
If you would write a villanelle.

This one you should have jettisoned.


—Medusa, celebrating poetic tongues firmly in cheek, and the ability to edit oneself...

For more about today’s poet, go to, and be sure to check out her other poems there, such as: 

•••Chickens Are Not Emotionally Satisfying Pets
•••House Lions
•••Sorting Laundry

See also her advice to poets at 

 —Elisavietta Ritchie

Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.