Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


A 19-line poem of fixed form consisting of five tercets and a final quatrain on two rhymes, with the first and third lines of the first tercet repeated alternately as a refrain closing the succeeding stanzas and joined as the final couplet of the quatrain.

[French, from Italian villanella, from feminine of villanello, rustic, from villano, peasant, from Vulgar Latin *vīllānus, from Latin vīlla, country house; see weik- in Indo-European roots.]


(Poetry) a verse form of French origin consisting of 19 lines arranged in five tercets and a quatrain. The first and third lines of the first tercet recur alternately at the end of each subsequent tercet and both together at the end of the quatrain
[C16: from French, from Italian villanella]


(ˌvɪl əˈnɛl)

a short poem of fixed form, written in tercets, usu. five in number, followed by a final quatrain, all being based on two rhymes.
[1580–90; < French < Italian; see villanella]
References in periodicals archive ?
Each of her poems is as thick as the Tennessee woods, and one can imagine her, pen to notebook, on the mountain at Sewanee, imagining each descant and collect, each sonnet and villanelle.
She writes in cross rhyme on one page and in a villanelle a few pages later.
Eve will be joined by a psychopathic assassin named Villanelle, and the former will be charged for hunting the latter down.
Still, Duhamel's hardcore fans, who recall the witty immediacy of the Barbie poems in Kinky (1997), might prefer Scald when it tackles the near-present tense, as in "Extreme Villanelle," which starts: "Our drones, called Predator and Reaper, / have killed at least four hundred civilians / as they wiped out extremists, life cheaper // in the Middle East.
I also identify with the heroine, Villanelle, even though I'm not a crossdresser, yet, and my feet aren't webbed.
In King's discussion of the villanelle he correctly says that the form takes nineteen lines, but his rhyme pattern omits six lines; it also does not clearly distinguish the first repeated "a" rhyme from other "a" rhymes.
A partire dalle villanelle e dalla loro diffusione nella Napoli del Cinquecento si puo ricostruire la concezione rinascimentale del "fare musica" utilizzando o formando una melodia cantabile e realizzandone l'accompagnamento.
Part of Incarnadine's accomplishment is its thematic consistency and structural restlessness--the collection not only grapples with traditional forms (the villanelle, terza rima, an abecedarian, sonnets, and hymns), but also experiments with lyric prose, erasure, overheard conversations, concrete poetry, etc.
Attentive to both sound and image, the poet utilizes inherited forms to bring order to her vision, as in her villanelle "A Flemish Still Life," where the circular motion of the form reinforces the and necessity of a pleased patron.
Some of the forms I used are the villanelle and the pantoum, both of which use repetition, as well as haiku, alphabet poem, acrostic and several imitations.
Writing a villanelle about Titus Oates in 1985 summons a stoic romance that requires no explanation--"'I am just going outside and may be some time.