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Gary Snyder

“Barely retained, some image of that pain…”

Reed College, February 14, 1956

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“This is a little villanelle…” says Snyder. A villanelle is a complex French verse form made up of five three-line stanzas (tercets) rhyming a-b-a and a final quatrain rhyming a-b-a-a. Snyder follows that rhyme scheme here. In the 20th century, Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” (publ. 1952) was the most famous example of a villanelle. This villanelle of Snyder’s has never been published.