The Arnold is a stanzaic pattern that links stanzas with rhyme. It is named for English poet Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) and patterned after his poem The Hymn of Empedocles. Arnold was actually better known for writing the classic Dover Beach.
The Arnold is:
• stanzaic, written in any even number of cinquains.
• metered, L1 through L4 are trimeter, L5 is hexameter.
• rhymed. L1 through L4 are alternating rhyme, L5 rhymes with line 5 of the next stanza. The L5 rhyme changes every 2 stanzas. Rhyme scheme: ababc dedec fgfgh ijijh etc.
• L1 through L4 are indented 9 spaces. Now that is getting specific.
The Hymn of Empedocles by Mathew Arnold
IS it so small a thing
To have enjoy’d the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done;
To have advanced true friends, and beat down baffling foes;
That we must feign a bliss
Of doubtful future date,
And while we dream on this
Lose all our present state,
And relegate to worlds yet distant our repose?
Not much, I know, you prize
What pleasures may be had,
Who look on life with eyes
Estranged, like mine, and sad:
And yet the village churl feels the truth more than you;
Who ‘s loth to leave this life
Which to him little yields:
His hard-task’d sunburnt wife,
His often-labour’d fields;
The boors with whom he talk’d, the country spots he knew
But thou, because thou hear’st
Men scoff at Heaven and Fate;
Because the gods thou fear’st
Fail to make blest thy state,
Tremblest, and wilt not dare to trust the joys there are.
I say, Fear not! life still
Leaves human effort scope.
But, since life teems with ill,
Nurse no extravagant hope.
Because thou must not dream, thou need’st not then despair.
Pasted from <http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=668>
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the fine PMO resource.
My Example poem
Jar of Coins (The Arnold)
The coins are waiting now
in a five gallon jar.
They were not spent somehow
so that is where they are –
received as change when bread or milk was bought one day.
Those coins would not be missed
for times were not that bad.
coin hoarding would persist.
Someday I might be glad.
For years and years the coins joined others put away.
The economic tide
made metal prices race.
Some coins that rest inside
are worth more than their face.
That jar became a rock against emergency.
That heavy bottle seems
too much for me to lift.
It’s for my grandson’s dreams,
I plan it for a gift.
Bequeathing him some jingle, left unused by me.