Sunday, December 09, 2007

scientifically insane---Paradelle---Read.Write.Poem/Monday Poetry Train

Read.Write.Poem asks us to write differently from our usual forms. As most of my blogger friends know, I do not stick to any single form. I keep changing. This time I am trying a parody for Villanelle otherwise known as Paradelle. I post this for Monday Poetry Train too.

A paradelle is a modern poetic form which was invented by United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins as a parody of the villanelle. When Collins first published the paradelle, it was with the footnote "The paradelle is one of the more demanding French fixed forms, first appearing in the langue d'oc love poetry of the eleventh century. It is a poem of four six-line stanzas in which the first and second lines, as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas, must be identical. The fifth and sixth lines, which traditionally resolve these stanzas, must use all the words from the preceding lines and only those words. Similarly, the final stanza must use every word from all the preceding stanzas and only these words."

Stanza 1: aa/bb/cd
Stanza 2: ee/ff/gh
Stanza 3: ii/jj/kl
Stanza 4: mm/nn/op

As this is my first attempt, it has not come out very well. My final stanza has not followed the rule. Such forms need practice. I intend to do that before I write another one. Feel free to critique it.

scientifically insane

equations flying out of pages hit me hard,
equations flying out of pages hit me hard
leafing through that tome of physics-
leafing through that tome of physics.
hard hit equations of physics flying
out through pages, me leafing that tome.

I can hear my father’s voice cajoling-
I can hear my father’s voice cajoling-
to concentrate on beauty of sciences
to concentrate on beauty of sciences
my father’s voice concentrate on
sciences. Cajoling to beauty, I can hear

uncertainty principle where electrons-
uncertainty principle where electrons-
do not know what directions to follow
do not know what directions to follow.
electrons do follow what directions not
where principle to uncertainty know

photoelectric effect causes me insanity-.
photoelectric effect causes me insanity-
taking out my notebooks, I summarise all,
taking out my notebooks, I summarise all.
photoelectric effect causes me taking all
my notebooks out. I summarise insanity.


craziequeen said...

Hi gautami :-)

Michele sent me to say hi :-)

I followed your link to wiki and I liked this sentence:

'Thus, although invented as a hoax, the paradelle has taken on a life of its own.'

fair and true, I feel.....


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yowch. That IS a tough form; you're brave just for attempting it!

Jill said...

That is an interesting form of poem! But as Susan said, it is an hard form to do and you are very brave to try!!
And yes, sciences, even if interesting, can drive somebody insane!

Whitesnake said...

As always........sigh!

Julia Phillips Smith said...

I actually like it the way it is, though you want to keep working on the form. But the fact that you've called it 'scientifically insane' just makes all the repetitive lines seem like an obsessive compulsive disorder, and that really works for me. I could just picture a stammering guy trying to focus on his electrons but compelled to repeat his previous thoughts at least twice.

Anonymous said...

Tami my dear, it is 2:30 AM and I can not sleep so here I am answering my email that I never seem to get to. This is a very very hard form you have chosen my brave friend and for a first try I think it is very good. Sometimes I wish your sweet mathematical mind would would find some like beauty and lure in nature. Maybe the lines might come easier. I don't know
as I have never tried to write a poem like this. One thing is for sure, it is well done my friend.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh My Lordy...that is a very hard thing to do!
I know I will sound stupid here, but WHY? And Who? I mean I'd love to read one of these that the Poetry World considers very very Successful!!! LOL!
I think you did fabulously...but then, I am NOT a poet!

Michele sent me this early morning!

grumplestiltskin said...

a most interesting piece gautami
if the bad weathe here continues i may try one - but it looks very difficult

Anonymous said...

Gautami, this poem rocks! I love the repreated verses coupkled with the idea of insanity, science, and difficult concepts.

Jo said...

I think you're brave for trying too.....I'm not sure I would. It sort of summarises how I feel about science!

R.G. ALEXANDER said...

Awesome! I felt the insanity :)

November Rain said...

michelle sent me
I too have no particular form those I like Sestinas

sister AE said...

A valiant attempt, Gautami! I haven't written one, but as I look at Collin's Paradelle for Susan I see that the 4th stanza doesn't have to do the repeating line thing (is that what you meant about the final stanza problem or were you talking about using all the words from the rest of the poem?)

What I really wanted to say is that I think this hangs together as a readable poem very, very well. More so than the Collins piece. His last line reads, "Darken the mountain, tie and find was my into it was with to to." He had words left over and just stuck them on instead of re-working.

paisley said...

this looks really difficult.. i did my first vilanelle not long ago,, and i am not sure i am ready for something like this...

you did a wonderful job,, not allowing the form to dictate the basic thought... excellent....

WithinWithout said...


I am all for free form and don't like limitations placed upon me, but then you seem to like a challenge.

As others have, I commend you for trying, and that's all that matters.

Personally, if I didn't like what I had written trying to conform to another's style, I would abandon it.

But maybe that's the easy way out. Kudos!

Wylie Kinson said...

I don't know weather to bow to your bravery and imagination or laugh at the irony of science + art = insanity.

Nice job!

Rethabile said...

You always have just nailed different forms. Bravo. And I learned sth I didn't know: the paradelle...

Linda Jacobs said...

This is amazing! I agree with julia about it sounding like an insane person stammering through it. I've never seen these before but am definitely going to try one.

Deb said...

I think the science-language was terrific here. It may not have been "perfect" but you "proved" a lot. Good work!

Andy Sewina said...

Coupled with scientific insanity your bravado shines through!

Anonymous said...

The use of repetition is very effective. It's almost a verse equivalent the serial music of Philip Glass or Steve Reich!

Anonymous said...

I think that's a terrific play on the paradelle. I especially love the enjambment between the second and third stanzas.
And, judging from "Paradelle for Susan," I think Billy Collins intended the last two lines of each stanza to be somewhat inane:
"I perched on your highest bird the."
"cross my shore, to with it is to."
"the letter the from the."
"into it was with to to."
Strictly, for the form, you didn't need to do the repetition in the fourth stanza, but, hey, if it works, go with it.

Danika Dinsmore said...

Gautami - i'm just now getting to this.

I think you did great, I agree with Julia "the repetitive lines seem like an obsessive compulsive disorder" and it works with the scientifically insane theme. The rhythm works for the poem's message.

I've heard Collin's read live before and he's quite funny. Good take on the form.

writerwoman said...

Wow. I've never heard of this form. It's tough! Bravo for taking on this challenge.