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Poetic License: ‘Feminine Endings’

By Staff | Jul 23, 2019

Joe Pacheco

A female villain is not a villanelle,

A lady crook is not a crookette

Nor infant girl a Baby Belle.

Suffixes suffer from ERA spell,

Feminine endings no longer correct –

A female villain is not a villanelle.

In poetry and music, the syllable

At end of line is better off stressed –

Change Isabella to Isabel.

There’s “trix” and “ine” and “ess” as well,

But “big fat momma” was never “largess”

Nor female villain villanelle.

Hosts, actors, heroes – who can tell

Since gender changed to unisex

And Ma broke up with Baby Bell.

“Bring back the macho,” chauvinists yell,

“Poetess, not poet or poetette!

Let villainess labor with villanelle

While giving birth to poems on Sanibel”