The villanelle consists of five tercets (a tercet is a grouping of 3 lines) and a quatrain (a grouping of four lines). Each line is 8-10 syllables long. The first and third lines of the first stanza become refrains that repeat throughout the poem. Here is an original villanelle by staff member Lauren Hall.
Shadow of the Ring
by LT Hall
The mists are fading into spring;
along the meadows, caves, and streams
where the moon is shrouded by the Ring.
Eagles soar low on loyal wings,
hunting with eyes of neon beams
through mists which fade into spring.
Some night creatures can tightly cling
to hidden orbs of light that gleam
since the moon is shrouded by the Ring.
Though the sky once glowed with lightning,
opaque unease spreads metal steam
as the mists are fading into spring
The woodland immortals must sing
neglected songs that turn to screams
while the moon is shrouded by the Ring.
Before long the beautiful sting
will cut through the volcanic seam;
till then the mists fade into spring,
for the moon is shrouded by the Ring.