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Tinker

Paradelle

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Tinker

Explore the Craft of Writing
American Verse

Paradelle  Billy Collins, American poet and humorist inadvertently invented the satirical verse form, Paradelle in 1967 when he wrote Paradelle for Susan. The poem with footnote was written to mock amateur poets who sacrifice sense for form and targeted the Villanelle. It was meant as a parody, hence the name "Paradelle".

Although it was written as a spoof some reviewers took it seriously taking the footnote at face value. They critiqued the poem as amateurish and clumsy not realizing that the poem was intentionally written to appear amateurish and clumsy and the footnote had no basis in fact.

Hoax or not, the Paradelle has become a legitimate verse form that many poets have attempted since. Its word restrictions pretty much limit the poem to nonsense. The Red Hen Press even published an anthology of Paradelles in 2005.

The elements of the Paradelle are:

  1. stanzaic, a poem in 4 sixains.
  2. meter and rhyme at the discretion of the poet, but the 1st 3 stanzas must be identical in form.
  3. written with repetition, L1 of each of the 1st 3 stanzas is repeated in L2 and L3 is repeated in L4. L5 and L6 are written using every word from L1-L4, no additions, no subtractions.
  4. the 4th stanza is composed of every word used in the preceding 3 stanzas with no additions, no substractions.

    Paradelle for Susan with footnote by Billy Collins

    I remember the quick, nervous bird of your love.
    I remember the quick, nervous bird of your love.
    Always perched on the thinnest, highest branch.
    Always perched on the thinnest, highest branch.
    Thinnest love, remember the quick branch.
    Always nervous, I perched on your highest bird the.—

    It is time for me to cross the mountain.
    It is time for me to cross the mountain.
    And find another shore to darken with my pain.
    And find another shore to darken with my pain.
    Another pain for me to darken the mountain.
    And find the time, cross my shore, to with it is to.—

    The weather warm, the handwriting familiar.
    The weather warm, the handwriting familiar.
    Your letter flies from my hand into the waters below.
    Your letter flies from my hand into the waters below.
    The familiar waters below my warm hand.
    Into handwriting your weather flies you letter the from the.—

    I always cross the highest letter, the thinnest bird.
    Below the waters of my warm familiar pain,
    Another hand to remember your handwriting.
    The weather perched for me on the shore.
    Quick, your nervous branch flew from love.
    Darken the mountain, time and find was my into it was with to to.

    "The paradelle is one of the more demanding French verse forms, first appearing in the langue d'oc love poetry of the eleventh century.It is a poem of four six-line stanzas in which the first and second lines, as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas, must be identical. The fifth and sixth lines, which traditionally resolve these stanzas, must use all the words from the preceding lines and only those words. Similarly, the final stanza must use every word from all the preceding stanzas and only these words"

    Paradelle For Geoff by Zoe Fitzgerald

    What could possibly change the way you feel?
    What could possibly change the way you feel?
    I detest the moments when we are apart.
    I detest the moments when we are apart.
    We could feel the moments when change are possibly
    What I detest? The way you apart.--

    The shallow graves of our crowded past
    The shallow graves of our crowded past
    Filled to overflowing with regrets we buried
    Filled to overflowing with regrets we buried
    Our crowded past with overflowing regrets
    To the graves we buried, filled of the shallow.

    I still feel your breath on my neck warm
    I still feel your breath on my neck warm
    Life continue as long as that is true.
    Life continue as long as that is true.
    As long as life is true your warm breath
    Continue on my neck I still feel that.--

    We are the shallow life I detest. The moments
    Change with your overflowing graves, buried
    With regrets on my breath, when apart.
    We, filled. To what way could our crowded,
    Warm, possibly long past still continue as true?
    That is of the you I still feel. Feel?


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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