Paradelle

The Paradelle is a modern poetic form invented by Billy Collins as a parody of the villanelle. Billy Collins claimed that the paradelle was a difficult, fixed form consisting of four six-line stanzas with a repetitive pattern invented in eleventh century France, and the press believed the story and ran with it.  Due to the extensive publicity, the Paradelle has made its rounds in the poetic community.  Even though the form was invented as a hoax, the Paradelle has taken on a life of its own.  It is still a difficult form, nonetheless, to practice which can be fun and
rewarding even though the inventor may not have intended it to be.

The Paradell Structure

First Three Stanzas:

The first two lines as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas must be the same
(repeat).  Where it begins to get difficult and become more of a poetic puzzle is when reaching
fifth and sixth lines.  These lines must contain all the words from the preceding four lines within
the stanza using them only once to form completely new lines.

Last Stanza:

For the most difficult piece of this poetic puzzle, the final stanza of the paradelle does not repeat like
the preceding stanzas, rather the final six lines must contain every word from the first three stanzas,
and only those words, again using them only once to form completely new lines.

The Design is simple:

Stanza 1: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4
Stanza 2: 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8
Stanza 3: 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 12
Stanza 4: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Where the numbers merely indicate lines of verse, of any line-length.

Example Poem

A Paradelle with Ending Rhyme

When looking, a perfect calm descends
When looking, a perfect calm descends
You create a meaningful view with Paradelle tools.
You create a meaningful view with Paradelle tools.
A perfect calm descends looking, when you
create a meaningful view with Paradelle tools.

Upon  using the  form and  by watching fools
Upon  using the  form and  by watching fools
you made a sounding, as start .
you made a sounding, as start .
Upon  using the  form and  by watching fools
you made a sounding, as start.

That  as poetry
That  as poetry
ends quite  well.
ends quite  well.
That  as poetry
ends quite  well.
A perfect calm descends  upon  you
When you create a meaningful view
using the  form  by watching fools
looking, and  sounding,  as made with tools.
That  start as Paradelle
poetry ends quite  well.

© Lawrencealot – April 27, 2012

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