Comparing Repetition In Sestinas And Villanelles

1596 words 7 pages
Tomo Sencer-mura
UCLR 100 Kerkering
9, Oct 2013

Comparing Repetition In The Poetic Forms Of The Sestina & The Villanelle

While both the villanelle and sestina employ repetition of words and have similar characteristics, the villanelle is a much more poetically structured form which tends to heighten its emotional tones in a lyric manner. In contrast, the sestina allows for more flexibility in its structure, and this can, for instance, result in an easier possibility to create narrative. Such differences can be seen in a comparison of Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into the night" and Alberto Rios's "Nani." While both poems are elegiac in nature, Thomas's villanelle uses its more formal qualities and repetition to emphasize
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The poem ends with three lines called an envoi, which includes the same repeated end words. Rios employs a sneaky technique in Nani. Instead of six stanza’s, it only has three (two stanzas and one envoi). By only using three stanza’s it backs up the theme of the poem – the lack of communication between the boy and grandmother. The form of the poem is, in a way, almost dedicated the lack of communication between the two characters – the stanzas ultimately become smaller. The poem has two stanzas, which could be one for each character, and because they are separated, it shows the great divide between them.
Rios begins his poem by reminiscing about his childhood memories with his old grandmother feeding him Sopa de Arroz (a Mexican rice dish) at her dinner table. The lines “I might have had to say more out of embarrassment. To speak, now-foreign words I used to speak, to dribble down her mouth as she serves me Albondigas. No more.” (39.) He repeats the word “more” when talking about his loss of the Spanish language and then again at the end of the line to enforce an idea of a greater loss. He equates the loss of the Spanish language with the loss of his grandma. This connection of the language to her death is achieved through the simple repetition of the word “more.”
As we go further into the poem we can feel time