Which poets wrote the best villanelles in the English language? French poetic form which became popular in English due to virtuoso performances like “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas, “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop and “The Waking” by Theodore Roethke. I have included poems with refrains, such as “Tom O’Bedlam’s Song” and “The Highwayman. The same entry also assigns primary responsibility for the fixed-form villanelle with nineteen lines to the English, not the French or Italian creators of the extended definition essay examples forms.
The term “villanelle” is related to “villain,” which originally meant a denizen of a villa, or a farmhand. French poets apparently believed the more exacting version of the villanelle was much older and more common than it actually was! Soon thereafter two English poets started riding the same wave, so to speak, and the rest is now poetic history. Elizabeth Bishop, Louise Bogan, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles D’Orleans, Ernest Dowson, Robert Frost, Edna St.
Vincent Millay, Alfred Noyes, William Shakespeare and Dylan Thomas. Please keep in mind that these rankings are just one person’s personal opinion, and that I am using a flexible definition of the term “villanelle. The poems appear on this page, so you can judge for yourself. Honorable Mention: “If I Could Tell You” by W. After a Greek Proverb” by A.