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Breaking Up to End a Complicated Relationship

Janis has extensive experience as a licensed professional counselor in assisting clients recover from the pain of unhealthy relationships.

Breaking Up a Relationship Involves Intense Back and Forth

The intensity of a relationship can ignite several reunions following break-ups, creating a roller coaster ride of back and forth mixed emotions.

The intensity of a relationship can ignite several reunions following break-ups, creating a roller coaster ride of back and forth mixed emotions.

Relationships and Poems are Complicated in the Forms They Take

Relationships, as some types of poems, are often misunderstood. Both can bring us to the highest heights of joy and to the lowest lows of grief.

Relationships can become as confusing and as unclear as a piece of poetry, written with good intention, but in the end, leaves us wondering, "What was that all about?"

The poem below, "Back To Square One," is an example of a poetry verse form called the Villanelle. This piece was inspired by a couple who kept repeating (as some poems do) the same lines over and over, returning to couples therapy to mend or, shall we say, "edit" their broken relationship.

They didn't realize how they were literally going around in circles with no resolution in sight (as poems can sometimes do). Their attempts were futile and the relationship eventually ended.

Examine the parallels between an unstable relationship that goes 'round and 'round and the shape of the Villanelle form in the poem.

The Ups and Downs of a Passionate Relationship

Passion, coupled with unresolved issues, creates intense ups and downs in a volatile relationship. It sometimes resembles a roller coaster ride.

Passion, coupled with unresolved issues, creates intense ups and downs in a volatile relationship. It sometimes resembles a roller coaster ride.

"Back To Square One"


'Round and 'round we cannot stop

Each hurting heart returns

The roller coaster makes us drop


We keep repeating the same old hop

Continuing to yearn

'Round and 'round we cannot stop


The same mistakes from the top

Nothing more to earn

Then, the roller coaster makes us drop


Let's take a break before we pop

Or we'll crash and burn

'Round and 'round we cannot stop


Our efforts will begin to flop

The more we push and churn

As we ride, the roller coaster makes us drop


On our heads we need a bop

Maybe then we'll learn

'Round and 'round we cannot stop

The roller coaster makes us drop


A Relationship Stuck at an Impasse

Relationships can go up and down and back and forth with no resolution for a time before the couple realizes it's time to end it.

Relationships can go up and down and back and forth with no resolution for a time before the couple realizes it's time to end it.

Unresolved Needs Lead to Poetic Drama in Relationships

The Relationship and the Villanelle Poetry Form

Relationships are Villanelles in the flesh, illustrated by the ups and downs, the back and forth, the confusion, the repetition and the volatility.

Full of passion, intensity, and spark, relationships reflect the essence of the Villanelle, especially when the couple is in transition, crisis, or at crossroads.

The Break Up of a Relationship

Origins of the Villanelle

The Villanelle is a complicated form of poetry, said to have derived from an Italian rustic song (a villanella).

It is thought to have its origins in the word "villano," an Italian word for peasant. The peasant would sing a "round song" with refrains and repetitions, as he worked in the harvest field.

The poetry verse form was coined in France with the work of French poet Jean Passerat.

What makes a Villanelle?

  • Nineteen lines
  • Rhyme scheme "aba"
  • Two rhymes are repeated according to refrains
  • Six stanzas
  • Five stanzas have three lines each; one stanza, the last, has four lines
  • The first line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the second and fourth stanzas
  • The third line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the third and fifth stanzas
  • Those two refrain lines follow each other to become the second-to-last and last lines of the poem

[Complicated and confusing, just like a relationship]

© 2013 Janis Leslie Evans

Comments

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on December 11, 2014:

Thanks for reading, mothersofnations. Glad you enjoyed it, I appreciate the blessing.

Mothers of Nations on December 11, 2014:

Interesting article and enjoyed the poem! I look forward to reading more. God bless you...

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on October 25, 2014:

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, bigj1969. Thanks for the double comment!

John Marshall from glasgow on October 24, 2014:

Loved your poem,couldn't stop from start to finish.truly wonderful.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 06, 2013:

Hi brakel1, good to see you. I'm so glad you liked this hub. I appreciate your critique. Thanks for visiting.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on August 06, 2013:

Your poem inspires me and allows me to see a picture of a merry go round and a relationship going round and round. I like the narrative and explanation which makes the hub longer and more meaningful. You created suspense, so that I couldn't wait to read the poem. That is so creative. The poem itself was in a form I had never read. Thank you for sharing this hub. Take care. Keep up the good work.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 03, 2013:

Thanks, BigJulesMags, appreciate the visit. Your comments a so generous. I'm glad you liked this one. Thanks for reading it. Come to think of it, it does have a rock feel to it.

Julian Magdaleno from Queens, New York City on August 03, 2013:

...it sounds like a great refrain for one helluva good blues rock track. Get a band together.

You're currently my favorite hub author, FYI.

And I don't read just anything.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 09, 2013:

Thank you very much, passionate77. I'm so glad you stopped by and enjoyed this piece.

passionate77 on July 09, 2013:

thank you so much janis for sharing such a great post through poetical expression to make us know how we deal with our relationship ups and downs, nice sharing, great work, stay blessed!

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 06, 2013:

You're welcome, Eddy. Thanks for reading it and for the vote. I appreciate your visit.

Eiddwen from Wales on July 06, 2013:

Thank you so much for this gem. Great read and voted up.

Eddy.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 06, 2013:

Thanks, Kathryn, for your kind words and generous comment. I'm glad you liked it. I hope you're weekend is a good one, too.

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on July 06, 2013:

I like how you explain to us what a Villanelle is (because I have never heard of this style), and how you compare the style to relationships. Very clever! The poem itself is pretty, too, and the video for the commercial is a great one to add to this post. Thank you for sharing this with us, and I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

~ Kathryn

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 06, 2013:

It definitely take experience, Faith Reaper. Thanks for stopping by.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 05, 2013:

Very interesting here as to the villanelle and relationships! I've been married since I was 19, so I understand about all of the ups and downs, and all the give and take and compromising until you get to the point where you just understand each other. : )

Blessings, Faith Reaper

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 05, 2013:

lovebuglena, your curiosity peaked my curiosity so I had to check. The traditional Villanelle had no fixed form. The fixed form became the standard for the contemporary Villanelle after the Renaissance. I found notes written beside Theodore Roethke's "The Waking," in my Norton Anthology, which I used as a model when I did some self-study. Another example of the earlier less fixed refrains is Jacqueline Osherow's "Villanelle for the Middle of the Night." Thanks again for the opportunity to do more research on this.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 05, 2013:

Big ups to you and Bev, thanks for reading this poetry hub, Bill.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 05, 2013:

Right on, Jan, and I love the villanelle! Bev and I did the round and round thing when we were first dating....breaking off the relationship every six months or so...it took a lot of work to realize that we both had issues we needed to deal with....now that we have we are in it for the long run.

Lena Kovadlo from Staten Island, NY on July 05, 2013:

Was just curious if I overlooked something when it comes to writing the villanelle. :)

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 05, 2013:

Thank you, lovebuglena for your comments. I'm not sure how strict the rule is; I saw examples of some of the classics and there were extra words here and there. So not sure if I overstepped, guess I made it my own. I appreciate that critique.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 05, 2013:

Thank you so much for saying that, xstatic. I appreciate your visit.

Lena Kovadlo from Staten Island, NY on July 05, 2013:

Interesting how you compare relationships to a villanelle. I've never thought of relationships in such a way. Was definitely refreshing to read this hub. Good example of a villanelle you've included.

About the villanelle form...

I didn't know that you can add extra words to the repeating lines of a villanelle... I always thought you could not especially since adding more words would take the line away from being in iambic pentameter...

Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on July 05, 2013:

A poetically done essay on those revolving spins that we get in to.