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Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Swinburne

    • The Swinburne is a stanzaic form patterned after Before the Mirror by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909).

      The Swinburne is:
      • stanzaic, written in any number of septets.
      • metric, L1,L3,L5, & L6 are trimeter, L2 & L4 are dimeter, and L7 is pentameter.
      • rhymed ababccb dedeffe etc, L1 & L3 have feminine or falling rhyme.


    This named form was documented by Judi Van Gorder, on her most wonderful resource site: Poetry Manum Opus, in a section about poetry form named after English poets.

    Note: In addition to the specifications above, it is also required that the sixth syllable in Line 7 rhyme with lines 5 and 6.


    Before the Mirror
    I.
    WHITE ROSE in red rose-garden
    Is not so white;
    Snowdrops that plead for pardon
    And pine for fright
    Because the hard East blows
    Over their maiden rows
    Grow not as this face grows from pale to bright.

    Behind the veil, forbidden,
    Shut up from sight,
    Love, is there sorrow hidden,
    Is there delight?
    Is joy thy dower or grief,
    White rose of weary leaf,
    Late rose whose life is brief, whose loves are light?

    Soft snows that hard winds harden
    Till each flake bite
    Fill all the flowerless garden
    Whose flowers took flight
    Long since when summer ceased,
    And men rose up from feast,
    And warm west wind grew east, and warm day night.

    II.
    “Come snow, come wind or thunder
    High up in air,
    I watch my face, and wonder
    At my bright hair;
    Nought else exalts or grieves
    The rose at heart, that heaves
    With love of her own leaves and lips that pair.

    “She knows not loves that kissed her
    She knows not where.
    Art thou the ghost, my sister,
    White sister there,
    Am I the ghost, who knows?
    My hand, a fallen rose,
    Lies snow-white on white snows, and takes no care.

    “I cannot see what pleasures
    Or what pains were;
    What pale new loves and treasures
    New years will bear;
    What beam will fall, what shower,
    What grief or joy for dower;
    But one thing knows the flower; the flower is fair.”

    III.
    Glad, but not flushed with gladness,
    Since joys go by;
    Sad, but not bent with sadness,
    Since sorrows die;
    Deep in the gleaming glass
    She sees all past things pass,
    And all sweet life that was lie down and lie.

    There glowing ghosts of flowers
    Draw down, draw nigh;
    And wings of swift spent hours
    Take flight and fly;
    She sees by formless gleams,
    She hears across cold streams,
    Dead mouths of many dreams that sing and sigh.

    Face fallen and white throat lifted,
    With sleepless eye
    She sees old loves that drifted,
    She knew not why,
    Old loves and faded fears
    Float down a stream that hears
    The flowing of all men’s tears beneath the sky. 

    Algernon Charles Swinburne


    Example poem

    Caretaker      (The Swinburne)












    When forced to go and going
    with all due haste,
    you leave already knowing
    there must be waste.
    I never, as a boy
    expected old man's joy
    at seeing an old toy I had misplaced.

    The things you leave behind you
    are not all done.
    They're simply tasks assigned to
    another one.
    When your life takes a turn
    the habits you adjourn
    may tickle Time who spurns a lack of fun.

    © Lawrencealot - May 8, 2014


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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Curtal Long Hymnal Stanza

Curtal Long Hymnal Stanza

Type:
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
Description:
A stanzaic form composed of three lines of iambic tetrameter and one of iambic dimeter rhymed abab.
Schematic:
xX xX xX xA
xX xX xX xB
xX xX xX xA
xX xB




My Thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for the wonderful PoetryBase resource.

My Example Poem

My All   (Curtal Long Hymnal Stanza)

I must now be
in total thrall;
demand from me
my all.

I'll give no less,
for when inspired
I know my best's
required.

And if I fail
the lack's my own.
I'll guzzle ale
alone.

© Lawrencealot - April 30, 2014



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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cyrch a Chwta

Cyrch a Chwta
Type:
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
Description:
(kirch a choota) An octave of seven-syllable lines rhymed aaaaaaba with cross-rhyme of b in the third, fourth, or fifth syllable of line 8.
Origin:
Welsh
Schematic:
Rhyme: aaaaaaba
Meter: xxxxxxx
xxxxxxa
xxxxxxa
xxxxxxa
xxxxxxa
xxxxxxa
xxxxxxa
xxxxxxb
xxbxxxa or xxxbxxa or xxxxbxa
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
8

My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his fine Poetrybase resource.

Example Poem

My Tree     (Cyrch a Chwta)

My dad went to war, but he
took time first to plant a tree
when I was a baby, wee.
Dad never came back to me,
he perished when I was three.
I learned of him at mom's knee
That tree gave shade, let me swing.
That's something dad knew would be.

© Lawrencealot - April 24, 2014






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Monday, April 21, 2014

Long Octave

Long Octave

Type:
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
Description:
An octave of iambic tetrameter with rhyme scheme abcbabcb.
Schematic:
Line rhythm: xX xX xX xX
Rhyme scheme: abcbabcb
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
8
See Also:
Status:
Incomplete

My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his fine Poetrybase resource.



Example poem

Recruiting      (Long Octave)










When Maude and I were at the park
just chatting calmly on a bench,
two half-dressed trollops happened by
(I think perhaps that they were French),
it wasn't close to getting dark.
They asked, "We've many thirsts to quench.
and one's a friendly older guy;
would you take care of him by chance?"


© Lawrencealot - April 21, 2014


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Brace Octave

Brace Octave
Type:
Structure, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
Description:
An eight-line stanzaic form with rhyme of abbaabba or abbacddc. No requirements on meter or length. The Italian octave is a subgenre of this.
Origin:
English
Schematic:
abbaabba or abbacddc
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
8
See Also:
Status:
Incomplete


My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his fine Poetrybase resource.

Brace Octave ------------------------------------------

The Brace Octave has its roots in music. The brace is the wavey symbol that joins 2 staffs of music, indicating that both scores are played simultaneously. The verse form referred to as the Brace Octave is a lyrical blend of meter and rhyme, the rhyme scheme almost taking the shape of the brace. It could even be said that the octave itself acts as a brace joining two envelope quatrains.

The Brace Octave is:
  • stanzaic, written in any number of octaves (8 lines) made up of 2 envelope quatrains. When writing more than one octave, even numbered stanzas grouped in twos seems to fit best with the venue of the form.
  • metric, iambic tetrameter. Some sources indicate no meter necessary but given the musical nature of the verse, it seems to me measured lines are appropriate if not a prerequisite. The best known poem utilizing the Brace Octave is Two Songs from a Play by W.B. Yeats which is written in iambic tetrameter so I guess Mr. Yeats agrees with me.
  • rhymed, with an envelope rhyme scheme abbacddc (see it does sort of look like a brace lying down.)
    Here is 
    William Butler Yeats' poem which was published in his book The Towerin 1928. There is a footnote from Yeats "These songs were sung by musicians in my play Resurrection."
Two Songs from a Play by William Butler Yeats

I
I saw a staring virgin stand
Where holy Dionysus died,
And tear the heart out of his side.
And lay the heart upon her hand
And bear that beating heart away;
Of Magnus Annus at the spring,
And then did all the Muses sing
As though God's death were but a play. 

Another Troy must rise and set,
Another lineage feed the crow,
Another Argo's painted prow
Drive to a flashier bauble yet.
The Roman Empire stood appalled:
It dropped the reins of peace and war
When that fierce virgin and her Star
Out of the fabulous darkness called.

II
In pity for man's darkening thought
He walked that room and issued thence
In Galilean turbulence;
The Babylonian starlight brought
A fabulous, formless darkness in;
Odour of blood when Christ was slain
Made all platonic tolerance vain
And vain all Doric discipline.

Everything that man esteems
Endures a moment or a day.
Love's pleasure drives his love away,
The painter's brush consumes his dreams;
The herald's cry, the soldier's tread
Exhaust his glory and his might:
Whatever flames upon the night
Man's own resinous heart has fed.


My thanks to Judy Van Gorder from PMO for the above.  I
 tend to agree with her conceptually about the meter and line length, but many do not.  Below is a poem that strays from isosyllabic lines and abandons consistent meter.

~Love Is Not Just  A State Of Mind~ 
(Brace Octave) 


Love is a very beautiful feeling 
Can make you sappy or happy 
And at times can give you  healing 
Sometimes makes us so unhappy 
You reach the stars or hit the ceiling 
Emotions makes us  sad or happy 
Love is not just a state of mind 
For in your heart love you can find 



Dorian Petersen Potter 
aka ladydp2000 
copyright@2011 




My example poem

Short Shrift    (Brace Octave)

I tell ya friend
it's quite okay
to write this way
or else append
sounds to extend
the word array
with more to say
from start to end.

© Lawrencealot - April 20, 2014

Although I do believe that more pleasant poetry results from utilizing meter and a consistent line length of iambic tetrameter or longer, I have to allow any octave using envelope rhyme to  tagged with this name.




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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Streambed's Ripple

Streambed's Ripple a form created by Lillibet known on Allpoetry as Streambed.
It is:
Stanzaic: Written in 3 ten line stanzas
Syllabic: 10/8/10/8/10/10/10/8/10/8
Refrain:  Requires the last half of L5 to repeat in each stanza
Rhymed: xaxaBbxaxa xcxcBbxcxc xdxdBbxdxd
Metric: Written in iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter

Example poem
Love's Corset     (Streambed's Ripple)
















For centuries we have believed
the attributes of form
as they relate to motherhood
ought be considered norm.
So bind yourself with stays and lace
before you paint or rouge your face.
For parturition hips must be
expanded, round and warm.
The breasts to suckle one or more
are ample to conform.

A standard then however wrought
in western cultures seem
to drive the fashion engines to
promote this female scheme.
So women then with stays and lace
constrict themselves so men will chase.
But girls have found and boys have too
that essence reigns supreme,
and being kind and being true
is what will fuel love's dream.

Once one is found to share your heart,
then regulate your mind
and recognize that devotion
provides the stays that bind.
I'll bind my love with stays and lace
to make sure romance stays in place
and corset non-complying thoughts
and set them far behind.
For nothing fits the human soul
like lovers so aligned.

© Lawrencealot - April 19, 2014





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Friday, April 18, 2014

Bref Double

Bref Double
Type:
Structure, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Isosyllabic
Description:
A fourteen-line French form. Like many French forms, the rules are a bit complex. It is composed of three quatrains and a couplet, all isosyllabic. It has three rhymes: a, b, and c. It has five lines that are not part of the rhyme scheme. The c rhyme ends each quatrain. The a and b rhymes are found twice each somewhere within the three quatrains and once in the couplet.
Impressions:
Have fun; it's French.
Origin:
French
Schematic:
Some sample rhyme schemes would be:
abxc abxc xxxc ab,
xaxc xbxc xbac ba,
xabc xaxc xbxc ab,
etc.
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
4
Line/Poem Length:
14

Pasted from <http://www.poetrybase.info/forms/000/25.shtml>
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his fine Poetrybase resource.

My example poem

A Merchant Mariner     (Bref Double)

A soliloquy mumbled while aboard a ship
addressed issues encountered by conscripted men:
the comforts found in surroundings I'd known, no thoughts
of danger real or imagined- not everyday.

With thoughts of carnality, adventure, hardship,
rewards of sharing bounty, succeeding and then
returning home after I've traveled, unraveled
the wonderful mystr'ies that might hold me in sway.

The captain, querulous, demands most constant yield
from every man. The old first  mate so hates the king
he wrings more than mere duty from men on his watch.
The nation we're helping will repay us some day.

I came home a hero. It was quite a long trip.
But now that those days are passed, I'd do it again.

© Lawrencealot - April 18, 2014


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sapphic Stanza

The Sapphic Stanza is classic Aeolic verse and attributed to the poetess Sappho 6 BC, Greece. Plato so admired her that he spoke of her not as lyricist, poet but called her the 10th Muse. Her poems spoke of relationships and were marked by emotion. In a male dominated era she schooled and mentored women artists on the island of Lesbos and her writing has often been equated with woman-love. "Rather than addressing the gods or recounting epic narratives such as those of Homer, Sappho's verses speak from one individual to another." NPOPP. 

Sappho's work has often been referred to as fragments, because only two of her poems have survived in whole with the vast majority of her work surviving in fragments either from neglect, natural disasters, or possible censorship.

Sapphic Stanza is:
  • quantitative verse, measuring long / short vowels. In English we transition to metric measure of stress / unstressed syllables which warps the rhythm a bit but brings it into context the English ear can hear. L= long s = short
  • stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. This evolved to a quatrain during the Renaissance period from the ancient variable 3 to 4 line stanzas. The quatrain is made up of 3 Sapphic lines followed by an Adonic line which is usually written as a parallel to L3.
    Sapphic line = 11 syllables, trochaic with the central foot being a dactyl
    Adonic line = 5 syllables, a dactyl followed by a trochee
    (see below for more detail on these two components)
  • The modern Sapphic scansion should look like this (Stressed or Long = L; unstressed or short = s )
    Quantitative Verse (L=long syllable * s=short syllable)
    Ls-Ls-Lss-Ls-Ls
    Ls-Ls-Lss-Ls-Ls
    Ls-Ls-Lss-Ls-Ls
    Lss-Ls

    with substituted spondee
    Ls-Ls-Lss-Ls-LL
    Ls-Ls-Lss-Ls-LL
    Ls-Ls-Lss-Ls-LL
    Lss-Ls
  • originally unrhymed, in the Middle Ages the stanza acquired rhyme, rhyme scheme abab. Because of the predominant use of trochee and dactyls the rhyme will generally be feminine or a 2 syllable rhyme with the last syllable unstressed.
  • Adonic line is most often written as a parallel to a previous line. It is the last line of the Sapphic stanza. It is composed in 5 syllables, a dactyl followed by a trochee. It can also be found as a pattern for the refrain in song to honor Adonis, from which it derived its name.
    "death has come near me."
    last line of 
    Like the gods
    . . . by Sappho 4th century BC
    edited by 
    Richmond Lattimore
    Quantitative Verse
    Lss-Ls
    Meaningless prattle. ---jvg

  • Sapphic line -Since the Renaissance period the Sapphic line has been recognized as being a 5 foot trochaic line with the central foot being a dactyl. Prior to the Renaissance period this 11 syllable trochaic pattern was known as the "lesser" Sapphic line and the Sapphic line was a combination of the lesser Sapphic line and an adonic line.

    After Renaissance Sapphic line Ls-Ls-Lss-Ls-Ls : Passion, lust, consumed our beginnings fully.
    Prior to Renaissance Sapphic line Ls-Ls-Lss-Ls-Ls,- Lss Ls : greed to love? It happened deceptively, tricking emotions.
    Apparently, the technical terms of "lesser" Sapphic and Sapphic lines have been corrupted over time.


My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO


I am restating the specifications for the 21st century English writing poets, knowing full well that academicians may insist we have corrupted Sappho's use of long and short vowel sounds.  A real poet might strive to make those sounds and the syllabic accents coincide, then none can argue.

A Sapphic Stanza is:
Stanzaic, consisting of any number of quatrains.
Syllabic, each stanza consisting 3 Sapphic Lines plus a Adonic line.
Metrical.  The Sapphic lines being trochaic with the central foot being a dactyl (11 syllables), and
          The Adonic lines being a dactyl followed by a trochee (5 syllables)
Rhymed, the pattern being abab.

Example Poem

Quantitative Verse       (Sapphic Stanza)

Seek out passion, write of the trials that poets
face, with no complaint but with guidance, using
items neither trite nor near dying, so it's
true and amusing.

© Lawrencealot - April 17, 2014

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In this example I have tried to make each accented syllable also use an English long vowel sound.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Zejel

Zejel
The zejel is a Spanish form which my Spanish friends have not heard of. They tell me though that it is pronounced the-hell, with the stress on the second syllable. (How the hell do they know?)
My example in this form is about how men can't help thinking about sex. I hope this doesn't offend anyone, and get me a reputation as a male chauvinist pig. As I'm always saying, the opinions expressed in the poem are not necessarily those of the poet himself. (See also my Masefield parody.) 
I checked on the web how many times a day men are reputed to think about sex. The consensus seemed to be that it was about 200. The lowest figure came from the Ladies Home Journal, which said "4 or 5". The highest came from the film Simply Irresistible, which says 278 - apparently it uses this as a running gag. (One site actually topped this with a claim of "every 8 seconds", which works out at 450 times an hour, but I think that writer may have been shooting from the hip, as it were.)
Anyway, here's the poem: 
Proposition

Mostly, sex tops men’s agenda.
I’m not one to buck the trend - a
Red-blooded repeat offender.

Hurrying for the morning train,
Spirit not damped by teeming rain,
There’s only one thing on my brain:
All the time I think of gender.

At the office, deep in filing,
Boredom on frustration piling,
Even then, a woman smiling
Makes me feel all warm and tender.

Are you female and eighteen plus?
A good sport and adventurous?
We have a great deal to discuss.
Come back to my hacienda!
The first stanza, known as the mudanza, has three lines, rhyming aaa. All the other stanzas - as many of them as you like - have 4 lines, rhyming bbba, the a rhyme harking back to the first stanza. So the overall rhyming scheme for the poem is aaa/bbba/ccca/ddda/...
Colloquial language tends to be used, and 8-syllable lines are usual (though not obligatory), so that's what I've used here. I have interpreted the term "8-syllable line" to mean "a line with 8 syllables", and I suggest that you should do the same. However, in Spanish poetry syllable-counting works differently, and the term "8-syllable line" is liable to be interpreted as "a line in which the last stressed syllable is the seventh"; such a line might have 7 syllables, or 8, or 9, or even more. (I wonder whether the Spanish write haiku?)Pasted from <http://volecentral.co.uk/vf/zejel.htm>

Thanks to Bob Newman for his wonderful Volecentral resource site.

Example Poem

Toothless Smile      (Zejel)










The tortoise lived out on a heath
with only sage to hide beneath
his home he never could bequeath.

While I am taxed for my household
and pay and pay until I'm old,
and shall until I'm dead and cold
and I'm ensconced beneath a wreath.

My brilliant smile was once okay,
before my teeth all went away;
my progeny will have to say,
"He kept his house but lost his teeth."

© Lawrencealot - April 16, 2014


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Meisenheimer's Sestet

This form was created by Glenn Meisenheimer, aka gmcookie on Allpoetry.

It is stanzaic consisting of two or more stanzas.
It is syllabic, each stanza being a sestet of 11/8/11/11/11/8 syllables.
It is metrical, with the long lines consisting of three anapestic feet and an iamb, and each short line consisting of two anapestic feet and an iamb.
Rhyme pattern:  xabbba
My Example

April 7th Phone Call     (Meisenheimer's Sestet)

And what was the promise that went unfulfilled,
and why did it happen like that?
You promised to cherish, to love and obey
I promised the same yet you left me one day
and none of my pleas could persuade you to stay
so home with my two boys I sat.

But one time you tried to rejoin me and them;
by then I was slightly involved.
I'd promised another to be her escort
one day to a wedding as symbol of sorts.
I'd told you I'd promised and could not abort-
one day! then the problem'd be solved.

One day was too much for your too needy heart
I think you’d expected I'd stay
and forget a promise for now things were changed.
I couldn't and wouldn't get things rearranged
so after a month we were newly estranged.
You took our girls; you went away.

And what was the promise that went unfulfilled,
that caused you to call me last night?
You're dying and know it and facing the end,
have mem'ries to reckon with, fences to mend.
You know I still love you and think you my friend.
I wish that could make it alright.


© Lawrencealot - April 8, 2014

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Ronsarian Ode

Ronsardian Ode
The Ronsardian ode (named after Pierre de Ronsard 1524-1585) is the only kind of ode that specifies a particular rhyming scheme - ababccddc, with syllable counts of 10, 4, 10, 4, 10, 10, 4, 4, 8. 
In the present rather windy economic climate, I thought an owed might be appropriate.

Owed to the Bank

I rue the day when I picked up the phone
(Connected then)
And asked them to advance me a small loan.
Never again!
The moment the transaction was arranged,
The pattern of my entire life was changed.
More than I’d guessed,
The interest
Mounts up. I must have been deranged.

Eleven thousand pounds I owe, they say.
That’s quite a debt.
I swear I’ll pay it back to them one day,
But not just yet.
Meanwhile I need a place to lay my head,
A jug of wine perhaps, a loaf of bread.
Then there’s my wife...
For normal life
Can’t stop because I’m in the red.

I’ve hardly slept since this nightmare began.
I lie awake,
Find fatal flaws in every single plan
I try to make -
But last night all my ideas seemed to gel.
I’ll find another job; all will be well.
A banking post
Will pay the most.
Why’s that? It’s not too hard to tell.

Ah, life as a teller. It's a tempting thought. I think there should probably be a fourth stanza, but as yet there isn't. Sorry.
I bought a book of Ronsard’s selected poems, and it didn’t include a single Ronsardian ode. So some further research may be called for.


Thanks to Bob Newman for his wonderful Volecentral resource site.

My example poem

Ode to a Creek        (Ronsarian Ode)

The little creek was built to irrigate
so men could farm.
Thus, daily men would rise to raise some gate
when days were warm.
Those summer days the creek would draw the  boys
away from practiced games and silly toys
to share the breeze
with brush and trees
that lined the creek, contained their noise.

The larger boys had tied a swinging rope
on which we played
and dropped to take our daily bath sans soap,
quite unafraid.
When swing and drop became at last mundane
up to that branch we'd boldly climb again
into two feet
it seemed so neat,
we bore our scratches with disdain.

One fall they warned we could not swim nor fish
White poison flowed
and fish preceded it; to live their wish.
Death was bestowed
on parasites and all the mossy growth.
But all the neighbor boys I knew were loath
to think them right
when deadly white
killed life and our short season both.

When winter came a fragile sheet of ice
made young boys bold
for they could walk across it once or twice
when it was cold.
They'd taunt the older boys and wouldn't care
how fast were bigger kids who'd chase them there.
The small ones knew
just what to do;
The bigs fell through most anywhere.

I cannot tell now where that creek had been;
growth needs, I guess.
New roads exist that hadn't been there then,
such is progress.
That creek's as gone as are my boyhood years.
but still the memories of it endears.
It served its roles
and other goals
before it bowed and disappeared.

© Lawrencealot - April 15, 2014


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