December Workshop-Ariella

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Ariella McManus
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December Workshop-Ariella

Postby Ariella McManus » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:05 pm

My stab at a villanelle. If you are a fan of Doctor Who, this will probably make much more sense B)

Doctor, my Doctor

Flying through space and conquering time
You helped me through my darkest days
When joy was just a victimless crime

Our weekly adventures were so sublime;
My savior in so many ways
Flying through space and conquering time.

Little girl with hills to climb
Who Death held deep within his gaze
When joy was just a victimless crime

Doctor, my doctor, my paradigm
Companion to travel the hospital maze
Flying through space and conquering time

Life left spinning on a dime
Sickness not a passing phase
When joy was just a victimless crime

Life had not a meaning or a rhyme
But you were a friend who never betrays
Flying through space and conquering time
When joy was just a victimless crime.
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“Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!”

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Lavinia Rookwood
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Re: December Workshop-Ariella

Postby Lavinia Rookwood » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:14 pm

I know you didn't care for this as much as I think you should. Just because something is fandom related doesn't mean it can't have the same depth. Sometimes even the fandom itself can add layers of meaning. Like Doctor Who. The Doctor is a lonely man who helps where he can and travels about. You were a lonely child stuck in a hospital and traveled about in your mind, since your body was restricted. Even the title, depending on how old you were (you only indicated that you were a little girl) might have been the same sort of comfort word as 'mama'. So I think the poem speaks to a young girl's obsession with something that made her life happier, easier. But rather then being something bad, as we think obsessions are, it turns out it's comfort, even as you are older.

Personally, I think it's a delight, and so long as joy remains a victimless crime, I hope you find the same delight that I did.
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Jennet Jones
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Re: December Workshop-Ariella

Postby Jennet Jones » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:48 pm

This poem is about escapism. It's about the mind escaping on adventures via the medium of a beloved TV show, while the body is trapped in some sort of chronic illness. In light of the recurring theme of illness and medicalization (seen in phrases like "hospital maze"), the choice of a character called "the Doctor" is all the more poignant.

The refrain of "When joy was just a victimless crime" lends a nostalgic air by implying that at some later point, joy became a more serious crime. It shades the whole poem with the innocence of childhood, as reflected through the eyes of a sadder but wiser adult.

I really like the energy of the other refrain, "Flying through space and conquering time." You have totally made the most of the flexibility of metrical structure of the villanelle here. The dactyls really punch the keywords and create excitement: "FLYing through SPACE and CONquering TIME!" The iambic middle lines of stanzas seem dull by contrast - just like the experiences they describe, of being trapped by illness. (I see what you did there, in the fourth stanza: "Companion", eh?) In the fourth stanza, we suddenly have dactyls in the middle line! And it's the line where instead of dwelling on your illness, you're imagining yourself into the show! BAM! Well done.

I might want to polish the second line of the last stanza; there's something funky going on there with verb tenses. Otherwise, it's a really well-crafted poem. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm really impressed with how the meter subtly enhances the mood. (Also, I really like trisyllabic feet.)


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