I'm writing a villanelle as a school project and one of my lines is too short. Can somebody give me tips on how to extend the line?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is homework help.
    – Double U
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 22:09
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    Hi Aaron, to understand what your issue truly is, could you tell us what you already tried, and why you think that it did not work?
    – NofP
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 22:16
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    @DoubleU OP could have just as easily asked "I'm writing a villanelle and one of my lines is too short". Would you have closed then? How does the fact that this is homework make it different? See also discussion on the subject here: writing.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1782/14704 Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 23:14
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    I honestly don't think it makes sense to close this question just because it's related to a homework. It's not like he's gonna cut and paste the advice he gets.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 23:34
  • Does the poem still work with the short line? Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


A line that refuses to be the right length is one of the struggles with writing poetry. Here's how I (try to) deal with it.

Consider what it is you're saying, in that line, and in the lines around it. Can you use different words to express the same idea? Can you replace a word with a longer synonym? For one syllable, can you add some interjection, like 'oh' or 'lo!'? If you're lacking more than one syllable, perhaps you can add some sort of 'and X'? Can you add an adjective to a noun, or an adverb to a verb?

In the end, it all boils down to try to say the same thing using different words.

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