“A winter’s light and a distant choir…”

In our era of sneeze-it-onto-the-page poetry, one doesn’t often spot a true commitment to formalism. Rarer still is the modern poet who attempts to craft a poem that’s as traditional in its form as it is in its theme.

So here’s to Frank Wilson at the Philly Inquirer, who has written, it so happens, a villanelle about Advent. You can read up on the formal requirements of a villanelle here to appreciate what Wilson has done—although I can’t help but imagine that newspapers might be more pleasant to read if people outside the book-review section attempted an exercise like this one every once in a while.

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