How to create a Villanelle poem

A villanelle has 19 lines. The first 15 lines are written in tercet stanzas.

A tercet is 3 lines of poetry. Those 3 lines can be either a stanza in a poem or can be a complete poem.

The last 4 lines in a Villanelle poem is a quatrain.

A quatrain is just like a tercet in that the 4 lines can either be a stanza in a longer poem or a 4 line poem itself.

A villanelle has 2 rhyming sounds. The first and third lines in the 1st stanza are woven throughout the Villanelle. Line 1 is repeated as line 6, line 12 and line 18. Line 3 is repeated as line 9, line, 15, and line 19.

These lines, 1 and 3 rhyme. This is the first of the 2 rhymes throughout the Villanelle.

Lines 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 16, 17 are the 2nd rhyme.

The Villanelle follows the following plan:

Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 2 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)
Line 4 (a)
Line 5 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 7 (a)
Line 8 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)
Line 10 (a)
Line 11 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 13 (a)
Line 14 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)
Line 16 (a)
Line 17 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Refrain 2 (A2)
I hope you enjoy creating your own Villanelle.
Click here for my attempt at a Villanelle poem.


  1. Write one for me Jo! Write one! I wanna see how it goes… ’cause I cant understand the instructions, lol!


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