Conclusion to Chapter One

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 The preceding history, interpretation, and new translation of “J’ay perdu ma Tourterelle” are meant to emphasize the similarities, rather than the differences, between the contemporary villanelle in English and its sixteenth‑century French template. Formal poetry is often historically othered even by the contemporary poets who write it; English translations of Passerat’s “J’ay perdu ma Tourterelle” have contributed to this historical othering by rendering the poem with archaisms that Passerat’s original never possessed, and references to the poem in handbooks and anthologies have misrepresented it by their lack of sustained critical attention to it in its historical context. Since we already know that poetry has only recently been professionalized, since we already know that the naïve intricacies of the villanelle form could only have been invented in an era of innocent narrow‑mindedness, never in our own era of ironic, politicized self‑consciousness, why investigate farther?

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