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Old 11-30-2009, 06:48 PM   #51
lorencino
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Poetry is more than forms

I was wondering if this thread would be the correct place for discussion of the elements that are the building blocks of poetry irrespective of the form of poetry employed.

I'm talking about things like imagery, language, voice and rhythm that are used to expand the sense of the words used and therefore are, for me, what distinguishes poetry from prose in a far more meaningful way than form. On the other hand form may be a parallel element along with all those already mentioned that modifies/qualifies/enhances meaning in poetry.

Or should this be discussed in a separate thread. Perhaps it could be an extension of the excellent discussion already started in what makes a poem good
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:55 PM   #52
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Bump

Does anyone want to discuss the role/significance of imagery, language, voice and rhythm? Huh?

bedumba dumba
tap, tap, tappity tap

anybody?
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:15 PM   #53
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I seem to have gotten stuck. Sticked. Caught, anyway.

May I ask why?
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:31 PM   #54
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I hope it is okay with you that I stuck it, Tzara. It's a great reference for people interested in crafting and understanding form poems.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:38 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PandoraGlitters View Post
I hope it is okay with you that I stuck it, Tzara. It's a great reference for people interested in crafting and understanding form poems.
I'm fine, of course, with it being stuck but it might be cleaner to have a single "poetry resources" thread stuck at the top with links to this thread, Champie's illustrated poetry how-to, the submissions threads, and so on. Something to act as kind of an index to the others. That way you'd only have one stuck thread at the top and perhaps less clutter.

Maybe we could add in the old line breaks thread that had some good information in it, or some of the threads talking about specific forms. I think Angie did one on the villanelle, for example.

Just a suggestion. Don't know how anyone else might feel about it.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #56
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Anagrammatic Poem

An Anagram or Anagrammatic Poem takes the letters of one or more words and rearranges them to form different words. At its extreme, the title of the poem is used as the complete text material for the rest of the lines in the poem, as in this example by David Shulman:
Washington Crossing the Delaware

A hard, howling, tossing water scene.
Strong tide was washing hero clean.
"How cold!" Weather stings as in anger.
O Silent night shows war ace danger!
The cold waters swashing on in rage.
Redcoats warn slow his hint engage.
When star general's action wish'd "Go!"
He saw his ragged continentals row.
Ah, he stands – sailor crew went going.
And so this general watches rowing.
He hastens – winter again grows cold.
A wet crew gain Hessian stronghold.
George can't lose war with's hands in;
He's astern – so go alight, crew, and win!
While the reader is quite impressed by the ingenuity of such a poem (Shulman even makes it rhyme!) its poetic content is more on the order of a clever amusement than as good poetry.

A.E. Stallings recently published a lovely anagrammatic poem, "Olives," that relaxes the constraint somewhat--one line does not contain an anagram at all, another can only be made to by the misspelling "olyves," and she also allows for extra letters on many of the lines. The result is much more satisfying than Shulman's as poetry, however.

Here is a very early example of the form by George Herbert.

This example by Cory Calhoun uses the first part of one of Shakespeare's sonnets, forming anagrams of each line.



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Last edited by Tzara : 06-13-2012 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Added link to index post.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:19 PM   #57
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Terzanelle

The Terzanelle is a combination of the 19-line, repeated line structure of the villanelle with the interlocking rhyme scheme of terza rima. It consists of five three-line stanzas and a concluding four-line stanza rhymed ABA' bCB cDC dED eFE fAFA' (where capitals indicate a repeated line). Alternatively, the terminating stanza can be rhymed as couplets: fFAA'. Turco indicates that the lines should be of consistent metrical length.

Perhaps the best known of terzanelles is Turco's own "Terzanelle in Thunderweather," written under his anagrammatic pseudonym Wesli Court.

As with most forms, modern custom allows some bending of the rules, as with the occasional inexact rhymes in Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan's "Terzanelle: Manzanar Riot" (e.g., "fumes" and "moon") or the practice of slightly modifying the repeated lines.

Angeline has written a number of terzanelles ("Terzanelle at 4 a.m.," for example) and I remember Eve as being quite good with the form, though I can't find any of hers to link.

Finally, my own clumsy example:
Rendezvous on Robson Street

Some small café on Robson Street—
A quiet dinner, random talk,
It’s awkward when we finally meet

And, afterwards, that nervous walk
To my hotel. I booked a room
In case our dinner, random talk,

Grew into something more, a bloom,
A kind of possibility
Where this hotel, some wine, the room

Fine view, brought us more easily
To what we’d hoped for all along—
A kind of possibility

Of meeting somewhere nothing’s wrong.
Accept the moment and not balk
At what we’d hoped for all along.

A quiet dinner, random talk,
In some café on Robson Street.
Embrace this moment. Do not balk.
Our meeting’s awkward, yet it’s meet.
Fast and loose with some of the repetons, but mostly true to the form. I think.



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Old 06-16-2012, 07:45 PM   #58
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Paradelle

The Paradelle is a mock French form invented by Billy Collins as a parody of some of the more rule-based forms that earnest but unskilled poets mangle in their attempts to force the poem to fit the rules. Collins' description of the form (included as a footnote to his "Paradelle for Susan") is:
The paradelle is one of the more demanding French fixed forms, first appearing in the langue d'oc love poetry of the eleventh century. It is a poem of four six-line stanzas in which the first and second lines, as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas, must be identical. The fifth and sixth lines, which traditionally resolve these stanzas, must use all the words from the preceding lines and only those words. Similarly, the final stanza must use every word from all the preceding stanzas and only these words.
Collins' "Paradelle" is both the originating example of the form and intentionally bizarre, with lines like Always nervous, I perched on your highest bird the and Into handwriting your weather flies you letter the from the.

Other poets, always up to hack away at a new challenge, have attempted to construct a real (i.e., good) poem in the form. For example, Annie Finch, a well-known poet and head of the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine, published "Paravaledellentine: A Paradelle" as part of her collection Calendars.

Here's my own, pretty simple (as a poem, that is), example:
Paradelle: On a June Wedding

The bride, in white, is beautiful.
The bride, in white, is beautiful.
A red rose, strewn on the lawn.
A red rose, strewn on the lawn.
The rose-strewn bride is beautiful,
A white in red on the lawn.

The guests are dressed in cheerful colors.
The guests are dressed in cheerful colors.
Their drinks, yellow and blue.
Their drinks, yellow and blue.
The cheerful drinks are dressed—
Guests in their colors, yellow and blue.

The bride’s mother is gently weeping.
The bride’s mother is gently weeping.
Her father is teary-eyed too.
Her father is teary-eyed too.
The bride’s teary-eyed weeping
Is gently her father, is Mother, too

The bride’s rose is strewn, teary-eyed.
A father, in red, is cheerful;
Her mother is blue. Dressed in colors, too—
Yellow and white—the bride.
Gently, the guests are weeping,
Their drinks beautiful on the lawn.
Harder than hell to write, even if you're only trying to make it syntactically clear. They can have a kind of weird beauty about them, though.



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Old 06-16-2012, 08:59 PM   #59
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NERK, once a frequent poster who has since departed, issued his "en garde" challenge to write a paradelle a while back. I took the challenge and failed miserably with the first effort, but managed a revision which seemed to fit "the rules," although to this day I'm not sure. It was the hardest challenge for me. I think I still have a few paradelle scars on my fingertips for all the editing I did.

To tell the truth, I never was impressed with Collins' "Paradelle for Susan"
because I thought he copped out on the grammatical structure in the last stanza and rationalized the nonsense of it because, after all, the poem was nonsense to begin with.

Nonsense! I saw a couple of examples through a Google search that I thought were done better, and I happen to like Collins' work.

My hat goes to you. My fingertips are burning just at the thought of it.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:59 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
To tell the truth, I never was impressed with Collins' "Paradelle for Susan"
because I thought he copped out on the grammatical structure in the last stanza and rationalized the nonsense of it because, after all, the poem was nonsense to begin with.
I think you have to remember that Collins' intent was satirical. He was trying to write a bad poem to make a point.

He's probably as surprised as anyone (or, more likely, annoyed) that the form has a perhaps legitimate life.

It's interesting to write one, if only because of trying to clean up and rationalize all the different verbs and aligning those with appropriate subjects, etc.

I'll just point out that an impeccably perfect form for the paradelle involves no variation whatsoever:
This is line one.
This is line one.
This is line two.
This is line two.
This is line one.
This is line two.

This is line three.
This is line three.
This is line four.
This is line four.
.
.
.
This is line one.
This is line two.
This is line three.
This is line four.
This is line five.
This is line six.
The requirements of the form do not include anything that makes the form poetic. This is true of any form, of course, but is perhaps more obvious with the paradelle, since it is a form intended to be difficult without any reason as to why it is difficult.

One of the classic problems with form is that the poet loses sight of writing a poem while writing to form.

I know this because I do that all the time.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:47 PM   #61
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Cento: I had never heard of this type of poetry. Maybe I have lived under the proverbial rock. Guess I will have to have my try at this one. Thanks for this thread!
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:13 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzara View Post
The requirements of the form do not include anything that makes the form poetic. This is true of any form, of course, but is perhaps more obvious with the paradelle, since it is a form intended to be difficult without any reason as to why it is difficult.

One of the classic problems with form is that the poet loses sight of writing a poem while writing to form.

I know this because I do that all the time.
I understand that Collins is one of many poets who reject form as a destroyer of content. I disagree that the form has nothing that makes the form poetic as repetition is a valid poetic device. It is, however, one of the more difficult devices to employ effectively. And Karessalot, welcome to the PF&D! I look forward to seeing your Cento.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:14 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PandoraGlitters View Post
I understand that Collins is one of many poets who reject form as a destroyer of content. I disagree that the form has nothing that makes the form poetic as repetition is a valid poetic device. It is, however, one of the more difficult devices to employ effectively. And Karessalot, welcome to the PF&D! I look forward to seeing your Cento.
Let me also welcome Karessalot. The cento is, at least in my experience, diamond hard to do well. Good luck on that and I am interested in seeing your example.

Now, getting back to PG's comment... Repetition is, of course, a poetic device. I think my statement The requirements of the form do not include anything that makes the form poetic was more based on my interpretation of Collins' intent than on the resulting form. That said, it's kind of a dismal form. The repetition is on the level of the word, not line nor phrase, so its basis is quite separate from the syntactic elements of the poem.

Collins, I think, obviously meant it to be a stupid form. That poets can actually make something of it speaks more to their skill than his distaste.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:55 PM   #64
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American Sentence

An "American Sentence" is a poetic form invented by Allen Ginsberg that is intended to be something like an Americanized haiku. Rather than a short three-line poem broken into five, seven, and five syllables (really quite a different thing when rendered in Japanese on), Ginsberg created a form that is also seventeen syllables in length, but in the form of a single, horizontally formatted sentence. The form first appears in his collection Cosmopolitan Greetings (1994). Some of the poems have titles, like this one, the earliest composed (1987) of those in the book:
Tompkins Square Lower East Side N.Y.
Four skinheads stand in the streetlight rain chatting under an umbrella.
Most of the poems Ginsberg prints in Cosmopolitan Greetings have no title, and are comprised of a single seventeen syllable sentence. However, one is formatted as multiple sentences with the total of all sentences being seventeen syllables:
Rainy night on Union Square, full moon. Want more poems? Wait till I'm dead.
(which, incidentally, seems to imply that "poems" should be pronounced as disyllabic), one is an incomplete sentence:
To be sucking your thumb in Rome by the Tiber among fallen leaves...
and one is comprised of a single sentence consisting of two seventeen syllable lines:
He stands at the church steps a long time looking down at new white sneakers—
Determined, goes in the door quickly to make his Sunday confession.
Some are surreal in imagery, some blatantly sexual, some at least implicitly political. There are several sites on the Internet that talk about American Sentences, including one by a poet who claims to have written one a day since January 1, 2001.

Here are some external links:


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Last edited by Tzara : 01-10-2014 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Grammar police.
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