I have another poem published over at Shadow Road Quarterly! It’s called ‘The Life-Sized, Horizontal” and it’s a villanelle.
When you think of villanelles, you probably think of Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” (almost certainly the most famous villanelle ever), but my personal favorite is “Elephants” by Jack Gilbert.” Villanelles offer an interesting repetition that echoes in a sort of mythological or dream-like state. Gilbert really combines that repetition and concrete, oddly spiritual images to excellent effect. As a technical note, one of the really nifty stylistic things that Gilbert does is play around with the punctuation in the repeating phrases. So while the refrains echo, they take on different context and he can expand his sentences beyond the line-limits the might otherwise have been constrained by.
I will admit that “Elephants” was ringing in my head as I wrote my poem. I had been tossing the idea of the content around for a while, but once I started writing, I found that the content of the poem really dictated my choice of form. It called out for something monumental and reverberating, so it was an idea that formed itself into a villanelle, rather than starting off as a stylistic exercise.
Anyway, I’m very pleased with this poem and especially with appearing in Shadow Road. They’re a relatively new magazine, but I’ve enjoyed a lot of the work in their previous two issues. They have a lot of great stuff that you should check out and definitely consider submitting to their journal.
I should also give a special thanks to the editorial staff over there for their thoughtful comments on my submissions. It means a lot to get personal feedback and its proven very helpful in spurring on my revisions, so I really appreciate the time they took offer their thoughts.