Friday, December 20, 2013

Review of "The Long Deployment" by Jehanne Dubrow

"The Long Deployment" by Jehanne Dubrow, the director of the Rose O'Neill literary house and an assistant professor of creative writing at Washington College, was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on December 20, 2013.  A link to the poem, including the poet's notes, may be found here:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23811?utm_source=PAD%3A+The+Long+Deployment+by+Jehanne+Dubrow&utm_campaign=poemaday_122013&utm_medium=email

In her notes, the poet describes her composition as "an exploded villanelle."  An explanation of the villanelle form may be found here:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5796

"The Long Deployment" employs the two-refrain system of a villanelle, although the poet takes some liberties, modifying the refrains slightly to suit her needs.  Rather than present the poem as a series of tercets with a final quatrain, the poet does not divide her poem into stanzas.  She may have done this in order to emphasize the length of time that her husband was deployed with the military.  The last four lines of the poem follow the form of the final quatrain of a villanelle.  Of course, the total length is off--twenty-five instead of the standard nineteen lines--but this was also no doubt deliberately done to emphasize the length of the deployment.  The poem includes several internal rhymes in addition to those at the end of the lines.  The theme of the poem is simultaneously deeply personal and universal.


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