Sunday, April 16, 2006

Poetry Challenge

I've long been a fan of rj's writing challenges, and while I hope I'm not accused of stealing his idea, I'd like to throw out my own.

Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve's In Fine Form has inspired me to try and create my own form. Bear with me as I try to explain the rhyme/ repetition scheme:

A .... B

C ... a
C1... a

D ... c
D1... c
D2... c

E ... d
E1... d
E2... d
E3... d

B2 ... e

* Capitals indicate words and their number of repetitions, lowercase indicates rhymes. Please excuse my sloppy, amateur notation. Hopefully this poem will provide an example of what I mean:

We were born on waxy steel-

Leaves soaked fast and made our tea
Leaves below our tepid sea

Up and down the liquid weaves
Up our lunches fights and heaves
Up the snow falls by the reeves.

First and last my dirty cup
First the whine of filthy pup
First I smoke and then erupt
First chance I get and I corrupt

-Steel it melted, ‘fore it burst.

(Note: Five stanzas of lengths 1-2-3-4-1. I've also made an attempt at my own meter. I've tried to put the emphasis on the first and every second syllable following. For example, the first line "We were born on waxy steel" should read "We were born on waxy steel." I'm not sure if this meter has a name, but if anyone knows could you let me know?

There’s a grammatical error in line 5, but along with the snow falling "by the reeves", I've tried to give it a Newfoundland sound.

Anyway, the complications of such a form will probably scare people off, but if I have made it clear and you're feeling brave, please give my form a shot. Don't worry about the meter, if you'd rather, you could just attempt a poem based on the rhyme/ repetition scheme. Heck, adjust as much as you like.


Robert said...

Nobody will read:

letters will be lost, when I am dead
letters will decay til nothing's been said

words are babies crying at birth
words are shovels opening the earth
words are flankers leaping the hearth

Poems are these flaming kites
Poems drop from pristine heights
Poems land, stones on burial sites
Poems go gentle to great goodnights

Read by nobody.

John Mutford said...

Thanks for the poem. A little cynical, a few liberties taken with my form (mostly with my crisscrossed rhymes), but great nonetheless!!!

John Mutford said...

I was just looking over my description of the form I created and maybe it wasn't clear that the first word in each stanza should rhyme with those ending the following stanza. For instance, in my poem, "we" in the first stanza, rhymes with "tea" and "see" in the next stanza, "leaves" of the 2nd stanza rhymes with "weaves, "heaves" and "reeves" in the 3rd and so on.

Robert said...

Sorry, completely missed the secondary rhyme scheme, there.