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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Swinburne Decastitch

This form combining the rhyming pattern of an interrupted Petrachan Sonnet, with the breathing  cadence of common meter may have somewhere been used before, but it was definitely used and captured for us by Algernon Charles Swinburne in his "A Ballad of Death".

I merely record it here and give it a name by which we can refer as we attempt to write such poems of our own.

It is stanzaic, consisting of any number of stanzas.
It is Syllabic: 10/10/6/10/10/10/6/10/10/10
It is Rhymed: abbacdecde
It is composed in iambic meter.

Example Poem

Cultural Patrimony     (Swinburne Decastitch)

When any culture deems it right to maul
and kill, inflicting pain, can you explain
away my great disdain?
Can you excuse the citizens and all
who legislate and rule who use as tool
the very worst impulses of man's mind?
Against such things let's rail!
We simply cannot fool ourselves- it's cruel
to torment any species that we find.
With that in mind I'd like to tell this tale.

Young boys are often wooed by danger's taunt
and while still teens endeavor to learn skills
to please the crowds with thrills.
'Tis machismo alone that these boys flaunt,
and doubtlessly they want to earn the fame
accruing to the greatest in this "sport"
so fam'lies can be proud.
And many boys who play this dangerous game
will end up lame or have their life cut short
where death and torture's commonly allowed.

In training some are killed or truly maimed.
and never set their feet into bull's ring.
This is an honored thing!
But culture failing still persists unnamed,
where people think this cost perhaps is small;
and small it well may be when men have learned
compassion has no role.
If humankind is not herewith appalled
by acts dispensing pain where it's unearned
each man accepts canker on his soul.

When man pits bull against a lion foe,
again to entertain and titillate,
we each should fee self-hate.
The gladiator games we must outgrow,
like burning ants and pulling off fly's wings.
Each species may do harsh things to survive.
But evil has its cost.
When man accepts it's right to torture things
which share our space and roam our earth alive,
compassion for all life will soon be lost.

© Lawrencealot - April 13, 2014

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