The New Formalism

is a villanelle to be read, I emphasize, as a fiction, with all the irony you deem just, in the voice of an exceedingly cultivated and now, in age, utterly reactionary citizen of the Old World, whether geographically or mentally, after he or she has spent a week or so on Twitter and Tumblr:

The prep-school boys sing Ave Stalina;
Our new scholar-gypsies pound on their drums;
And all the girls, they think they’re Anna Karina.

They would have jeered as she said her Ave Marias
Who leak false drunkards’ tears on the grave of a nun:
Prep-school boys singing Ave Stalina.

They weep for the ruins of old Tenochtitlan—
Not blood-sated fields where their skirts come from,
All of those girls who think they’re Anna Karina.

To pious Aeneas, God’s command was “Destina!”
But the children of empire just carp at the scrum:
The prep-school boys sing Ave Stalina.

Hoist that black flag, O men of Crimea!
Show our snide-eyed schoolboys here how it’s done—
And all the girls who think they’re Anna Karina!

Will honor return to us—our exiled Perdita?
For now the mockers’ jihad, double-tongue hum:
Prep-school boys singing Ave Stalina
And all the girls thinking they’re Anna Karina.