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Old 12-11-2008, 03:48 PM   #26
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Blessed are the cracked for it is they that let in the light
They say a smile is a gift which is free to the giver and precious to the recipient.
But giving the finger is free, too, and I find it more personal and sincere.
If at first you don't succeed....skydiving is not for you ....
If you don't pay your exorcist .... do you get repossessed?
I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
....But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.......
Nil Caborundum illigitimi
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:44 PM   #27
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Glosa

The Glosa (also Gloss or Glose) is a bit of a problem as a form, as it doesn't seem to have a very fixed definition. The basic description seems to be something like You take some piece of someone else's poem, or other writing, and comment on it, including the lines you're commenting on in your poem.

Turco, to me, seems rather phlegmatic about the form, stating: "The glosa, glose, or gloss is a poem that comments upon a texte...."

Thanks a lot, Lew.

So I will be guessing a bit about this form. The main feature of the Glosa is that it is a poem that comments upon another text (or texte, which Lewis does define as "a set of lines to be glossed by the remainder of the poem....").

Oddly, Wikipedia doesn't seem to have an article on the Glosa, at least that I could find, nor does the Handbook of Poetic Forms. Based on other references here and there about the Internet, the form appears to be Spanish in origin. Some writers specify that the texte be four lines, others don't seem to care about the number. Most indicate that each line of the texte is used as the basis for a separate stanza in the glosa, and many further specify that the texte line being glossed is repeated as the last line of the stanza commenting on it. Some references specify a particular form for each stanza of the glosa, others indicate no particular form at all.

I suggest we adopt a basic definition: Simply choose a texte of whatever length. Each line of the texte is then commented upon in a separate stanza in the glosa, and the line being commented upon appears somewhere in the stanza.

Here's a very simple example of what I mean, based on an epigram by Alexander Pope:
Glosa on an Epigram by Pope

texte:

I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
—Alexander Pope


glosa:

While in the Royal Gardens once,
I chatted with a sweet thing who
Wore a collar that announced:
I am his Highness' dog at Kew.

This sentiment I read, surmised
Her slave, and one devoted to
Our King. She asked me in reply:
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
Angeline has written in glosa form, for example with her poems Glosa: Winter Harbor and Time Glosa, as has Tristesse2: Glose.

If anyone else has examples, please let me know and I will link them in.
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:21 PM   #28
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Terza Rima

Terza Rima is an interlocked-rhyme stanza form invented by Dante for The Divine Comedy. Turco describes it at some length: "Terza Rima is an accentual-syllabic Italian stanza form consisting of any number of interlocking, enclosed triplet stanzas. The first and third lines of a stanza rhyme; the second line rhymes with the first and third lines of the following stanza. In other words, the ending of the second line of any stanza becomes the rhyme for the following stanza: aba bcb cdc ded; a circle-back ending would be eae in this case, but the poem usually ends in a couplet rhymed from the second line of the last triplet: yzy zz."

Poets who have written a terzanelle will recognize the rhyme pattern, which is used in that form as well. Note that a poem consisting of four stanzas of Terza Rima written in iambic pentameter followed by a heroic couplet—a total of fourteen lines—is sometimes called a Terza Rima Sonnet (rhymed aba bcb cdc ded ee).

The Handbook of Poetic Forms says much the same thing as Turco about Terza Rima, but comments about the ending of a series of stanzas: "At the end of the poem, an extra line is often added to complete the structure: yzy z."

Wikipedia discussses the history of the form and provides a number of examples.

Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" is written in Terza Rima:
Ode to the West Wind

I

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes! O thou
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill;

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, O hear!


II

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of heaven and ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning! there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Mænad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith's height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: O hear!


III

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull'd by the coil of his crystàlline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: O hear!


IV

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! if even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem'd a vision—I would ne'er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
O! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd
One too like thee—tameless, and swift, and proud.


V

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own?
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,
Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth;
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:52 PM   #29
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Triolet

Ah, the Triolet! Like music to deaf ears.

Let's let Turco speak: "The French triolet is an octave poem turning on only two rhymes and including two refrains: ABaAabAB. Every line is the same metrical length."

Yahoo! (Erm, not the .com place, just an expression.)

Anyway, prolly helps if I 'splain that the cap A and B's not only denote rhyme, but the same line, i.e., a refrain. So if I make the first line of my triolet something like
Today, I found a way to play baseball.
then three lines of the poem are fixed:
Today, I found a way to play baseball.
The B refrain goes here
An a rhyme goes here
Today, I found a way to play baseball.
Another a rhyme goes here
Another b rhyme goes here
Today, I found a way to play baseball.
And again, the B refrain goes here.
So we could fill out a really bad triolet this way:
Today, I found a way to play baseball.
It's not really all that hard a game,
Although, like most games, little things: a brawl.
Today I found a way to play baseball,
A sport I cherish way beyond them all.
Unlike some other sports that seem quite lame.
Today I found a way to play baseball;
It's really not that hard a game.
In some ways, the Triolet is an extremely simple poem. There are a lot of repeated lines, so the poet only has to come up with a few. On the other hand, to write a good one is very difficult, for the same reason. You only have so many lines. They'd better work well when repeated.

Note that my (awful) example tweaks the refrain slightly. The B line is first It's not really all that hard a game but when repeated is It's really not that hard a game.

It's just one way to introduce some interest into this form.

A couple more examples:

A joke one of mine, for what it's worth.
Triolet on the Erotic Cliché "Sweet Nectar"

We were entwined in some erotic play.
Between her legs I tasted nectar sweet.
Can nectar, though, be flavored other ways?
We were entwined in some erotic play.
No matter, for I crave it anyway—
not Dionysus' wine makes such a treat.
We were entwined in some erotic play.
Between her legs I tasted nectar sweet.
Champie has written at least one triolet too: It's here.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:32 PM   #30
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Tritina

The Tritina is a ten-line form that—like the Sestina, which it resembles—has a fixed pattern of repeated words. The Tritina is considerably simpler than the Sestina, as there are only three repeating words, and the poem is consequently much shorter.

Neither Turco nor the Handbook of Poetic Forms mentions the Tritina, best I can tell. The general definition seems to be this: The form is ten lines, composed of three tercets (three-line stanzas) and an ending line. The end words of each line in the first tercet are repeated as end words in the other two tercets, though in a differing orders. All of the end words appear in the final line, in the original order. The order is ABC CAB BCA (ABC), where the parentheses indicate that all three words are in the same line. In other words, the last end word of a tercet becomes the first end word of the next tercet, and the others all drop down one line. There are no rhyme or metrical requirements, though most sources agree that the lines should all be of a common meter or length.

There are a variety of web resources about the Tritina. Here are some of them:
  • This site defines the form in some detail.
  • This one features a number of examples.
  • This is a simple and, I think, very clear example. Not very poetic, though.
The Tritina appears to be a modern form, so the only example I really liked was quite recent, so copyrighted, and at a site that has obnoxious pop-ups, so I haven't linked it.

So y'all are stuck with my first try, which I hope I've got right:
Ten Lines Written of a Masterwork

First, grant me this conceit: that your body
Lives as perfect metaphor, perfect blend
Of draftsmanship, of brushwork, pigment, paint

That even Botticelli couldn't paint
In Birth of Venus. True female body,
Idealized as Sex and Love in blend,

Fused to archetype of form. To that blend
Add charm, wit, cleverness—then try to paint.
No art, no skill, captures such a body.

That body blend with mine. Coat me like paint.
I hope I've gotten the word order right. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:22 PM   #31
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Villanelle

The Villanelle is one of the more popular forms among contemporary poets, the having been used by a number of quite famous poets (examples below). Turco says: "The French villanelle, like the terzanelle,is a poem of five triplet stanzas and a concluding quatrain, but it turns on only two rhymes. Lines one and three of triplet one are refrains, the first of which reappears as lines six, twelve, and eighteen; the second reappears as lines nine, fifteen, and nineteen: A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2 or, sometimes, in reverse order: abA2A1.Every line is the same metrical length."

The Wikipedia article on the Villanelle discusses the history of the form and includes examples by Edward Arlington Robinson and Dylan Thomas ("Do Not Got Gentle into That Good Night," probably the most famous of all villanelles).

The villanelle has been a popular form here in the PF&D as well. Noted Lit villanellessoeur LadyS had an Erotic Villanelle Challenge thread here a while back that includes information, a number of examples from Litsters, and, of course, requisite banter.

Here's a series of examples from well-known contemporary and near-contemporary poets:Note the variation in rhyme and refrain in many of these poems. Strict adherence to form is rather more the exception than the rule.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:42 PM   #32
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Pantoum

The Pantoum is not so much a specific form as a stanza form. Turco says: "The pantoum, a Malayan form, is an interlocking poem composed of quatrain stanzas, and all the lines are refrains. The meter is generally iambic tetrameter or pentameter. The second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third lines of the following stanza: A1B1A2B2 B1C1B2C2 and so forth. It can be ended witha circle-back to the two unrepeated lines of the first stanza, or in a couplet made of those two lines in reversed order: A2A1."

The Handbook of Poetic Forms adds this: "Sometimes the final stanza has a neat twist: although its first and third lines are as usual the same as the second and fourth lines of the stanza above it, its second and fourth lines are the same as the third and first lines of the very first stanza. This way, every line in the poem is used twice, and the first line of the poem is the same as the last."

The Handbook also notes that rhyme is optional.

While most sources I've looked at indicate that the poem is of indeterminate length, one or two suggest the poem should consist of four quatrains, the last of which links back to the beginning of the poem in the manner described by the Handbook.

Lauren has written some clever Pantoums in this latter form, for example "HOW TO write a pantoum" and "Möbius Strip." Champie adds these two, which have a slightly different form.

Poets.org has an interesting article on the Pantoum, including links to examples by Denise Duhamel, Marilyn Hacker, and Carolyn Kizer. Note how these poets (especially Duhamel) introduce considerable flexibility into the form.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:26 PM   #33
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Here's a ditty

Pantoum

this line shall rhyme with the line last
this shall sing with the rhyme again
the rule for the third is one just lain
the rhyme scheme winds and weaves on past

this shall sing with the rhyme again
with luck the verse moves quick and fast
the rhyme scheme winds and weaves on past
without the poet bleeding and slain

with luck the verse moves quick and fast
no chance for those who weep and remain
without the poet bleeding and slain
a body's work an anthology, vast.

no chance for those who weep and remain
actors no more a poet's cast
a body's work an anthology, vast
which even gone sings the rhyme again.
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By Jove!

Play a melody for the mighty Jove
that nymphs and satyrs might sway and dance
to the pounding rhythms of December trance
magic spilled out, a treasure trove.

That nymphs and satyrs sway and dance
throughout the pinetree grove
magic spilled out, a treasure trove
around which faeries prance.

Throughout the pinetree grove
darkness pierced with firelight's lance
around which faeries prance
in intricate harmonies that they'd wove.

Darkness pierced with firelight's lance
to play a melody for Jove
above intricate harmonies that they'd wove
and the pounding rhythms of December trance.
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:47 PM   #34
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Rondeau

The Rondeau is somewhat similar to the villanelle in that it has a limited number of rhymes and features a refrain, or repeating line. Turco describes the Rondeau this way: "The French rondeau is fifteen lines long and consists of three stanzas—a quintet, a quatrain, and a sestet, in that order, rhyming aabba aabR aabbaR. Lines nine and fifteen are short, a refrain consisting of the first phrase of the first line; thus they are shorter than all the rest of the lines of the poem, which are all of the same length."

The Wikipedia article on the rondeau adds the specification that the main lines should have eight syllables and the refrain line four. Poets.org says that the lines should be eight or ten syllables and the refrain part of the first line or the entire first line.

Most everyone gives the same examples of the rondeau, both of which are in the public domain, so I will quote them here:
In Flanders Fields
John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


We Wear the Mask
Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
Here at Lit, my sometime colleague ArnoldSnarb wrote this rondeau, which I include with Mr. Snarb's kind permission:
Rondeau for a Distant Love

You're far away from me, I know,
A place where I may never go
Nor will you likely ever steer
Your travels my way and come here;
My wishing cannot make that so.

Our love may thus simply plateau,
Rise just so high and never grow
Quite properly, due to the fear
You're far away.

But Love is more than quid pro quo
(Although exchange is apropos),
And so I'd better make this clear:
Your Mind is what I love, my dear.
That swells my nether parts, although
You're far away.
If anyone else has written one, please post or link it here.

ETA: Champ has one here
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:15 PM   #35
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Here's mine.

As The Icicle Grows (a rondeau)

As the icicle grows it hangs from the eaves
and embraces the pine in tears, it grieves
at the passage of cold and snow;
playmates of winter that soon must go
when the last days of March thaw and leave.

Each droplet has touched the branch and weaves
an intimate hold around each needle; a sleeve
of crystalline water of a chilly floe
as the icicle grows.

A spring breeze sneaks into morning and thieves
the north from the wind, in an effort to bereave
the cold night of my window
and secure a spot for warmer glow.
Now the sun settles in and spring is perceived
as the icicle grows.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:23 PM   #36
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Sestina

The Sestina is a longish (39 line) poem in which the end words of the first sestet (six-line stanza) are repeated in each of five following stanzas in a particular order and then again in a concluding tercet (three-line stanza), where the end words appear two to a line. Turco sez: "The sestina is of Medieval French origin, attributed to Arnaut Daniel in the late twelfth century and used by other Gallic poets and by Italians including Petrarch and Dante (from whom it received its Italian name). The popularity of the poem in English is primarily a twentieth century phenomenon, however, particularly in the United States. The six end words or teleutons of the lines in the first stanza are repeated in a specific order as end words in five succeeding sestet stanzas. The order of the repetition of the end words is ABCDEF FAEBDC CFDABE ECBFAD DEACFB BDFECA and, in the envoy, BE (line 37) DC (line 38) FA (line 39). In English the sestina is generally written in iambic pentameter or, sometimes, decasyllabic meters. Its thirty-nine lines are divided into six sestet stanzas and a final triplet envoy (or envoi). In the envoy the six teleutons are also picked up, one of them being buried in and one finishing each line."

OK, then. Confused?

If you're not, I sure am. Lew natters on after the above quoted passage for quite some time, though without, in my opinion, adding much to clarification of the form. So let's link in some other sources as well:So. Let's look at some examples:And, if those aren't enough examples, you can plow your way through the bunch at McSweeney's Internet Tendency Sestina page, which includes a bunch of well-known poets and writers (including at least a pair by Lewis Turco hisownself) and other notables (like Jeff Tweedy, leader of Wilco) and a bunch of people you're never heard of before. At least I haven't.

If you look through several of these examples, you'll notice a couple of things. For one thing, the order of the repeated words in the envoy (that last, three-line bit) varies considerably among poets. Some (Pound, for example) don't actually include all six in the envoy. Another variation is in line-length. Some use quite regular lines, others pay no attention to line length. (I even found an example by Turco himself where the lines are of wildly different lengths.)

What doesn't change, though, is how the end words shift through each of the six main stanzas. That seems pretty fixed.

Have fun with this one, people. Don't get all neurotic, anyway.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:02 AM   #37
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I look at the sestina as if it's a tangled up Slinky or the 5 Olympic rings on steriods (hehehe). Loop them around in their circular order and you'll see how the end words seem to line up all along the edges in line.

In around about page 2 of d'maas's Lachrimae Challenge you'll see a few sestinas as the poets explore the formula to fit the bluesy gauntlet thrown in by the master challenger himself.

I like 'em but as Ange mentions several times over the ages, they're not long until you start to write 'em. They're a big poem but they do result in some interesting words... Mine.
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:35 AM   #38
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*soft whimpering*
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Blessed are the cracked for it is they that let in the light
They say a smile is a gift which is free to the giver and precious to the recipient.
But giving the finger is free, too, and I find it more personal and sincere.
If at first you don't succeed....skydiving is not for you ....
If you don't pay your exorcist .... do you get repossessed?
I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
....But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.......
Nil Caborundum illigitimi
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:00 PM   #39
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Senryū

As was the case with the haiku, which is structurally similar, I'm gonna bail on attempting to define Senryū and, instead, merely quote other people.

Turco makes some comment about the form, but doesn't seem to really understand it much, so I'm not going to bother quoting him on anything about it. The Handbook of Poetic Forms is a bit more useful, saying "Senryu has the same form and origin as the haiku, but there are differences. While the haiku poet tries to capture a keenly perceived moment in which nature is linked to human nature, the senryu poet aims directly at human nature. Also, the language of senryu is direct and to the point, sometimes sarcastic, always humorous."

Wikipedia has this to say about the form.

Prolific Lit commentator on Japanese poetry, jthserra, comments on the Senryū here.

I hesitate to provide examples for the same reason I hesitate to comment on the form. But I'd be happy to link in yours if you think you have some that meet the criteria.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:45 PM   #40
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Zappai

OK. On to Zappai.

As was the case with both haiku and senryū, I cheerfully admit no knowledge of this form and will accordingly defer to the wisdom of others. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much in the way of others to whom I can defer. Neither Turco nor the Handbook of Poetic Forms mention zappai. Even Wikipedia doesn't, best I can tell, and it usually has an opinion on everything.

Paging jthserra! Jim has this to say about the form.

Here a fairly extensive article arguing that zappai qualifies as a distinct form of its own (as opposed to being failed or "pseudo" haiku).

As usual, if you have more or better information, please post it or send me the links.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:17 PM   #41
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Tanka

Rather than even attempt to define the Tanka (which I wouldn't do in any case, being personally wary of east Asian poetry forms), I'm merely going to point y'all at the eloquent and clear discussion Equinoxe posted on her earlier thread devoted to the form. The thread contains both classical examples of the form and the offerings of various PF&Dsters. I think Equinoxe's explanation of tanka is entirely sufficient for our purposes.

Should you disagree and have some other resources you'd like to see included, please post them or send me the links.
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:02 PM   #42
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Roundelay

The Roundelay is a bit of a problem to define, as the term is used to describe some rather different poetic forms. The most common definition seems to be, as Turco says, "any simple poem with a refrain," though in practice it also seems to imply some kind of regular stanza pattern and rhyme scheme as well.

This example, by the eighteenth century poet Richard Jago, follows a simple aabB ccbB ddbB, etc. format that some sources (e.g., this one) imply is a requirement for the form:
Roundelay
Written for the Jubilee at Stratford-upon-Avon, 1769

Sisters of the tuneful train,
Attend your parent' s jocund strain,
'Tis Fancy calls you; follow me
To celebrate the Jubilee.

On Avon's banks, where Shakespeare's bust
Points out, and guards his sleeping dust;
The sons of scenic mirth agree,
To celebrate the Jubilee.

Come, daughters, come, and bring with you,
Th'aerial Sprites and Fairy-crew,
And the sister Graces three,
To celebrate the Jubilee.

Hang around the sculptur'd tomb
The 'broider'd vest, the nodding plume,
And the mask of comic glee,
To celebrate the Jubilee.

From Birnam Wood, and Bosworth Field,
Bring the standard, bring the shield,
With drums and martial symphony,
To celebrate the Jubilee.

In mournful numbers now relate
Poor Desdemona's hapless fate,
With frantic deeds of jealousy,
To celebrate the Jubilee.

Nor be Windsor's Wives forgot,
With their harmless merry plot,
The whitening mead, and haunted tree,
To celebrate the Jubilee.

Now in jocund strains recite
The humours of the braggard Knight,
Fat Knight, and ancient Pistol he,
To celebrate the Jubilee.

But see in crowds the Gay, the Fair,
To the splendid scene repair,
A scene as line as fine can be,
To celebrate the Jubilee.
Here's a rather different example, by Edmund Spenser. In this poem, the refrain varies slightly throughout the poem and occurs twice per octave (eight-line stanza), as lines two and six.

There is also a much more complex (and I think interesting) roundelay form invented by John Dryden. Let me go back and quote Turco in full on the roundelay: "The English roundelay is any simple poem with a refrain, but John Dryden invented a complicated set form that is twenty-four lines long—four sestets—and turns on only two rhymes. Except for the first and second lines of stanza one and lines three and four of stanza four, all the rest are repetons or refrains, each being used at least once elsewhere in the poem in a particular order: abA1B1A2B2 A1B1A3B3A2B2 A3B3A4B4A2B2 A4B4abA2B2."

Here's Dryden's example:
Roundelay

Chloe found Amyntas lying,
....All in tears upon the plain;
Sighing to himself, and crying,
....Wretched I, to love in vain!
Kiss me, dear, before my dying;
....Kiss me once, and ease my pain!

Sighing to himself, and crying,
....Wretched I, to love in vain!
Ever scorning and denying
....To reward your faithful swain:
Kiss me, dear, before my dying;
....Kiss me once, and ease my pain:

Ever scorning, and denying
....To reward your faithful swain:
Chloe, laughing at his crying,
....Told him, that he loved in vain:
Kiss me, dear, before my dying;
....Kiss me once, and ease my pain!

Chloe, laughing at his crying,
....Told him, that he loved in vain:
But repenting, and complying,
....When he kiss'd, she kiss'd again:
Kiss'd him up before his dying;
....Kiss'd him up, and eased his pain.
Note the similarity to the villanelle, where the middle two lines of a stanza become the first two lines of the following stanza. The last two lines of each stanza are always the same.

Here's my attempt at the form:
Lines Written for a Lady to the East
Roundelay about Some Kind of Love. After Dryden

A love, I think, that every day
Is ours. In this I do not lie.
It is your body I would lay
And tousle your hair all awry.
I'll pull it some, though it is gray;
My fantasy is you'll obey.

It is your body I would lay—
I'll tousle your hair all awry,
But you are not, yet are my prey,
A lovemap you may well deny.
I'll pull it some, though it is gray.
My fantasy is you'll obey

But you are not, yet are my prey,
A lovemap you may well deny.
Now you are mine, and I'll assay
Those downy hairs inside your thigh.
I'll pull them some, though they be gray.
My fantasy is you'll obey.

Now you are mine, and I'll assay
Those downy hairs inside your thigh
Are place for my unfettered play
Up into denser hair, up high.
I'll pull it some, though it is gray.
My fantasy: You will obey.
Quite fun, I think, and easier than it looks.

Finally a completely different example of the form, from Samuel Beckett.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:29 PM   #43
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Limerick

The Limerick is a difficult form to define clearly. For one thing, everyone already "knows" what a limerick is, to a degree that I have wondered whether I shouldn't even attempt a definition, since I'll likely get some aspect of it "wrong" in many poet's eyes.

The other problem is that the limerick, like many light verse forms (e.g., double dactyl, double amphibrach) is very strongly metrical, though a bit fuzzy about the specifics, and people generally seem, well, uncomfortable with metrical requirements.

But what the hey—I've probably already got people unhappy with me. What's the harm?

So, woo hoo! Here's what Turco sez: "The limerick is a form of light verse (vers de société). The alleged Frech ancestry of the limerick has been disputed. Some authorities feel it is a native English form, descended, as we have noted, from the madsong stanza, which is in turn traced from the main stanza pattern of the medieval "The Cuckoo Song" (shown earlier). However, the Anglo-Norman background of this form is probably not truly disputable, because it is clearly a podic form, and podic prosody developed after Chaucer, John Gower, and the Scottish Chaucerians adapted French syllablic verse to English accentual verse and adopted Norman rhyming.

The limerick is a quantitative accentual-syllabic quintet turning on two rhymes: aabba. Lines one, two, and five have an iamb and two anapests, in that order; lines three and four have either an iamb and an anapest, in that order, or two anapests. Line five can be merely a modified repetition of line 1 (AabbA), as the nineteeth-century poet Edward Lear practiced it...."

Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's more, but not helpful, I think. Let's look at what the Handbook of Forms has to say about the limerick: "The dominant rhythm is called anapestic; that is, in units of three syllables, the first two unaccented, the third one accented. For example, the word understand has an anapestic rhythm." No, I don't find that especially helpful, either. But we all pretty much know what a limerick looks like, right? Something like this:
There was an Old Lady whose folly
Induced her to sit on a holly,
Whereon, by a thorn,
Her dress being torn,
She quickly became melancholy.
Limerick, right? That one is by Edward Lear, the "Father" of the limerick, so kind of can't be wrong. It has the characteristic "anapestic" rhythm—though, just to show that ol' Lew doesn't know everything, I think lines 1, 2, and 5 are in amphibrachic trimeter (an amphibrach is unstressed/stressed/unstressed, as in the word "remember") and lines 3 and 4 are both an amphibrach followed by an iamb (or an iamb followed by an anapest—you can parse these things different ways).

Wikipedia notes the meter can be either anapestic or amphibrachic, but says the long lines should have nine syllables and the short ones six.

I actually think the specific meter isn't so important as the general "sound." Lines 1, 2, and 5 are three-beat lines and lines 3 and 4 are two-beat lines, with some kind of duh duh dah duh duh dah rhythm to them. Just casually looking at a number of limericks, I've seen the long lines be anywhere from seven to ten syllables—it all depends on the rhythm.

Here's some examples I wrote with different metrical feet and syllable counts:
(This one is, I think, in amphibrachs with terminal iambs.)

Our Lady, who hailed from Kent,
Decided on no sex for Lent.
Her hubby was pissed,
But she had a list—
Her paramours shared his torment.



(This one, if I did it right, is all in anapests.)

Now this woman known only as Jill
Had found sex a debatable thrill
Until girlfriend she kissed
And found out what she'd missed,
Then she shrieked C'est l'amour! something shrill.



(And this one, if a limerick at all, has chopped all the lines short—it's actually dactyls followed by a single stressed syllable. Or a single stressed syllable followed by anapests. :S)

Change isn't always so bad.
Sometimes a change can be rad.
Short little lines,
Slightly off rhymes?
"Limerick. Sort of," said Brad.
Oh, one more thing—limericks are supposed to be funny. At least a little funny.

Supposed to be.

Hell. You guys all know what a limerick is—disregard all this nonsense and just write one.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:06 AM   #44
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There was a young man from Gwent
Whose prick was exceedingly bent
To save himself trouble
He put it in double
And instead of coming he went.
...............................
'Twas on the good ship Venus
By god you should have seen us
The figure head
Was a maid in bed
Sucking the Captain's penis.
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:29 PM   #45
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Trochee

I haven't seen anyone mention it yet. It's just stressed syllable followed by unstressed. Sappho was probably the only poet known for trochee and Dactyl, the latter I believe someone's already mentioned. Trochee at its most simplest:

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin eater
had a wife and couldn't keep her
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:50 AM   #46
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This is a wonderful thread with so much good information about forms, so I thought I'd stick it (at least for a while). It should be a very helpful companion to the poetry survivor challenge, which will require lots of form poetry. And this way it won't get bumped off the page and make it harder to find.

And as Tzara said, if you find good info on forms not already covered here (or even good links to those that have been), post info or a link in this thread.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:21 AM   #47
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Glad you did I certainly wouldn't be able to do it without Tz's help!
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Blessed are the cracked for it is they that let in the light
They say a smile is a gift which is free to the giver and precious to the recipient.
But giving the finger is free, too, and I find it more personal and sincere.
If at first you don't succeed....skydiving is not for you ....
If you don't pay your exorcist .... do you get repossessed?
I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
....But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.......
Nil Caborundum illigitimi
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:27 PM   #48
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I need to bump this I'm form hunting
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Blessed are the cracked for it is they that let in the light
They say a smile is a gift which is free to the giver and precious to the recipient.
But giving the finger is free, too, and I find it more personal and sincere.
If at first you don't succeed....skydiving is not for you ....
If you don't pay your exorcist .... do you get repossessed?
I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
....But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.......
Nil Caborundum illigitimi
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:33 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderYourSpell View Post
I need to bump this I'm form hunting
Take a look here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by EroticOrogeny View Post
Some links are broken, some cover forms we've had, but some new ones too:

DORSIMBRA
Epistle
Lento
PLEIADES
Several Ode links, quite a few Asian forms.
No Bob form.
Looks like we got a trigger and several forms to go with!
Looking again, there's another list (a Texas connection)
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:43 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EroticOrogeny View Post
Take a look here:


Looking again, there's another list (a Texas connection)
I've found them ones thanks some of them make interesting reading!
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Blessed are the cracked for it is they that let in the light
They say a smile is a gift which is free to the giver and precious to the recipient.
But giving the finger is free, too, and I find it more personal and sincere.
If at first you don't succeed....skydiving is not for you ....
If you don't pay your exorcist .... do you get repossessed?
I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
....But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.......
Nil Caborundum illigitimi
Sestina slut
Annie submits
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