May 272011

Not a villanelle

Also not a villanelle

Definitely not a villanelle either

Entries for the Second Annual Numéro Cinq Villanelle Contest are officially closed. It was a banner year for entries, plenty of  panache, wit and arrogance on display, some pathos, some tragedy, some humor. There are cute villanelles, cuddly villanelles, obstinate villanelles, sly villanelles, and improper villanelles, something for all tastes. As usual with NC competitions, the adjudication now splits into two streams. While the rowdy & belligerent (official) judges are being rounded up from various bars, you, the people, yes, YOU! get to choose the People’s Choice winner.

This is always a joyful and entertaining aspect of the contest judging. You get to read the entries, comment and vote or vote with commentary or just comment on the generally high quality, the wit, the arrogance, and the intelligence of the entries. Voting is open to anyone, REALLY!


As is often the case, it will be helpful if, before actually making a choice, you look up what a villanelle is (see the official entry post for hints and check out last year’s winner for inspiration). Even as I type this, the official judges (belligerent & rowdy) are being given a crash course on villanelle-writing (truth be told, this is not going well).

Read the entries, kick yourselves for not having entered this esteemed and wildly popular competition (if you didn’t), and place your votes in the comment box beneath this post.

You have 10 days (May 27 to midnight June 5) to place your votes!

Don’t forget to actually read the entries before voting!

And please quote the entry and the name of the author you vote for.


As of midnight June 5, the vote tabulation is as follows (these include votes cast incorrectly on the entry site–how many times do I have to tell you where to vote–sigh!):

Laura-Rose Russell  “Once I Was Lonely (A “Why Not?” Villanelle)” 4

Kim Aubrey “Canadian Shield…”  6

Lynne Quarmby “Antonj van Leeuwenhoek”  6

Meg Harris “Rapture”  3

Jodi Paloni “A Once Determined Chair”   3

Lee Busby “Fishbar Villanelle”  4

Anna Maria Johnson “Mystery of Domesticity”  3

Maggie Kast “That’s Art” 2

Any Amaran “Kali’s Villanelle”  1

  26 Responses to “Second Annual Numéro Cinq Villanelle Contest: The People’s Choice Ballot—VOTING CLOSED”

  1. I assume I can’t vote for my spam villanelle again. So many good entries, but this year just isn’t fair. There’s no way I can pass on a poem that uses erythrocyte.

    I vote for Lynne.

  2. My vote is for “That’s Art” by Maggie, but there were so, so many I loved. Pretty much all of them, actually.

  3. Totally impossible to pick only one or even three. I plan to vote early and often.

    Tonight’s vote goes to Jodi Paloni for her poignant, A Once Determined Chair.

  4. So many great entries this time around. I loved Kim’s and Lynne’s and Jodi’s but my favorite is Laura-Rose’s … “Oh how I love you, won’t you please go away.”

  5. Great “not a villanelle” pix too, btw.

  6. My favorites are many as well!

    I pick Jodi’s. No, Lynne’s. No, Jodi’s. No, Lynne’s!

    Okay, I’ll go with “The Once Determined Chair”

  7. I’m going to have to throw my support behind Lee Busby’s “Fish Bar Villanelle” . . . “Bourbon tastes better when you’re heartbroken.” I’m particularly fond of the way the refrain seems to “travel” through the poem–not just repeated, but passed on in cannon, a game of telephone.

  8. Continuing my tradition of attempting to thwart the will of DG, I’m going to vote for more than one. So many good ones, by the way. For some reason, I’m craving Indian food and rapture.
    My votes:
    1. Lee Busby (we are good friends, and this probably disqualifies my vote, but I loved this one anyway)
    2. Laura Rose’s dog villanelle. I’m a sucker for a good dog poem.
    3. Kim’s Canadian Shield poem.

    I’m deeply disappointed that Paris Hilton’s work was not represented in this contest. Our standards are clearly slipping. Alas, good work by all who entered. 🙂

  9. This decision is a great burden on my conscience as I feel each villanelle is worthy of rapturous glory. But unlike Rich, I’m not a Socialist. So I’m going to go with Meg’s “Rapture” Villanelle where gloom and spring and prescient dogs co-habitate … “My life’s this way because I’m sick and lazy.” And so my vote is cast and I shall further sully my conscience with other matters.

  10. My Saturday afternoon vote goes to Meg’s Rapture. There is much wonderful about this one, but one rhyme notched Rapture over several close ones. I cannot resist womb — vacuum.

  11. It is a glorious Sunday morning here and I am excited to place today’s vote because it goes to Anna Maria for her “Mystery of Domesticity.”

    DG, it is generous and forward-thinking of you to give us ten full days of voting. I am thoroughly enjoying taking full advantage of this unusually luxurious approach to democracy. Thank you! 🙂

    • I re-read the rules and we don’t seem to be limited to just the one vote per day, is that right?

      • All votes are counted, including repeats and double or triple votes–dg has grown tired of trying to keep you people in order. 🙂 You are a dissolute and disorderly crew.

        • Since you’re letting us vote more than once, I’d like to cast another ballot for that Dylan Thomas guy. Seems like he might have the knack of this poetry writing business. 😉

  12. My vote is for Laura-Rose’s. I can’t remember the title, but I remember the sentiment for sure! I also loved Anna Maria’s, but domesticity has no mystery for me, only neglecticity…

  13. So many of the entries could be lyrics, paired with a lovely guitar melody, or a blues chord. I suppose the cadence and rhythm of most villanelles could…. (“bourbon tastes better when you’re heartbroken.”)

    Although I was tempted to cast my lot with: Rapture (“The most of art comes mostly from the crazy”), I’m voting for Kim Aubrey’s Canadian Shield, or A middle-aged woman’s thoughts turn to the cottage. The imagery of “tramping through the woods on a long longed-for walk and a puppy of a rock” was too rich, and where I want to be now.

  14. For her creative and surprising rhymes, Anna Maria’s “Mystery of Domesticity.” For sheer quirky playfulness, Meg’s “Rapture.” And for a compelling defence of art and a terrific third (and repeating) line, Maggie’s “That’s Art.”

  15. Wow! I think the voting is about right because all comers are neck and neck. And truth be told, there are many excellent villanelles here. While I really like my own (it feels good to say so), I’d like to cast a vote today for Lynne’s “Leeuwenhoek” and Anna Maria’s “Domesticity!”

    Let’s write a double sestina or two! What say you, dg?

    • NC is just a perfect democracy, isn’t it. Everybody gets to vote as often as they like for as many people as they like. 🙂

      Why do I just have the slightest niggling feeling that there is something deeply wrong, nay, anarchistic about this? Why do I feel that you people are LEADING THE WHOLE COUNTRY IN THE WRONG DIRECTION?

      Also, Meg, tell me why, after all the contests on NC, I STILL can’t get everyone to vote on the right page?

      Just saying…

      • You said it yourself,anarchy! There are those of us who must rebel! Hey, that sounds like a line from a villanelle! Which country are you speaking of, sir?

        BTW, I’m headed to Wales on a writing retreat, departing Thursday…perhaps I’ll send you some pictures etc…I guess I should vote a few more times before I depart…

  16. Yay, I got some votes! Thanks, lovers of domesticity! Alright, I’d better vote now, too. I cast one vote for Anu’s ode to Kali because it’s so strong I can taste it, and another vote for Lynne Quarmby’s poem about the guy who studies invisible life under the microscope because I seem to have developed a little crush on him.

  17. I’d like to vote twice for Lee Busby’s Fishbar Villanelle. Once for myself and once for the guy that never got his last drink.

  18. I’ll cast my vote for Kim Aubrey — I know the feeling of longing for the dock and the puppy. But the poem was delicate, elegantly phrased … and stuck with what i think of as the ‘true’, anyway more rigorous, villanelle rhyme scheme, unlike some of the other entries.

  19. I just realized that I haven’t voted yet today!

    Today’s vote goes to Kim Aubrey for Canadian Shield. I did some tramping this sunny spring day – indeed it was up a granite monolith. Reviewing the entries again this evening, well, this one went straight to my heart.

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