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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
    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.

    “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.”

    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

Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
A stanzaic form composed of three lines of iambic tetrameter and one of iambic dimeter rhymed abab.
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

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

© Lawrencealot - April 30, 2014

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cyrch a Chwta

Cyrch a Chwta
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
(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.
Rhyme: aaaaaaba
Meter: xxxxxxx
xxbxxxa or xxxbxxa or xxxxbxa
Rhythm/Stanza Length:

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

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

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
Structure, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
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.
abbaabba or abbacddc
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
See Also:

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 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.

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 

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
Structure, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Isosyllabic
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.
Have fun; it's French.
Some sample rhyme schemes would be:
abxc abxc xxxc ab,
xaxc xbxc xbac ba,
xabc xaxc xbxc ab,
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
Line/Poem Length:

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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