Dec 15, 2007

the poetry sweatshop

In Princeton, no less.
A young man in horn-rimmed glasses who said he majored in English at Princeton challenged someone to write a villanelle. “On what subject?” asked Kate. He thought it over a bit and said, “Monkeys.” It seemed to me he was trying to stump them — requesting an intricate and difficult form on an inconsequential topic — though I couldn’t tell if it was out of whimsy or smarminess. Either way, the guy was astonished when, a couple of minutes later, Kate handed him a villanelle — which we’d practiced in the studio, but only once — that was as flawless as it was instant....
You'll have to click through to read it. It ain't bad.

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