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VILLAINY

The Mail

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

***

To the forms an infidel,

I ask the Crimson cockerel:

what the hell is a villanelle?

Sokolov rings the tocsin bell

from the Bloody Citadel;

I, to the forms an infidel,

might write the kinds of doggerel

called rondel, virelai, noel:

but what the hell is a villanelle?

I confess I am unprosodical,

undiacritical, cannot spell,

am to the forms an infidel;

I admit my sins poetical,

metrical, archaeological;

but what the hell is a villanelle?

This latest thundered encyclical

says I did wrong, but does not tell--

What the hell! Can my own villanelle

be to the forms an infidel?

By the use of a single rime, I hope to avoid the further wrath of my literary superiors. If this course of action meets with Mr. Sokolov's approval, might I respectfully suggest as well that villanelles were written long before that of Jean Passerat in 1006, from which the present form is derived, and that the art of poetry is a trifle more capacious than his rules? Richard Sommer   Teaching Fellow in English

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