Decathlon

Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977) is a book for and by educators. Classic poetic forms as well as many invented forms which appear to have been invented as teaching tools or exercizes for use in workshops or classrooms are included. Some of these invented forms I have found in use in internet poetry communities, a testament to their staying power. On this page I include the metric invented forms found there in which appear to be exclusive to the community of educators from whom Ms. Berg drew her support. I have yet to find these in any other source. I have included the syllabic invented forms on a separate page. Whether classroom exercise or sharpening your skill as a writer, some of these forms can be fun to play with.

• Decathlon (Greek – contest of 10 Anne Pendleton. An exercise in meter and rhyme.

The Decathlon is:
○ a decastich, a poem in 10 lines.
○ metered, L1, L2, L4, L6,L7 are tetrameter, L3, L5,L8 are dimeter, L9-L10 are pentameter (a heroic couplet.
○ rhymed, axbxaccbdd. X being unrhymed.

Read White and Blue by Judi Van Gorder

The fervid and triumphant due,
creating frame by predesign.
Artistic try
to write ten lines into a tome
that’s something new
with book of words that match and rhyme
to help me waste way too much time.
Don’t think me shy,
I finish with iambic rhyming two,
heroic couplet read on white in blue.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1199#dionol
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

An Exercise (Decathlon)

How klutzy can you make a form
just might have been the question here,
I thought at first.
To random lines and staggered rhyme
I must conform.
This form will truly be a test.
I’m sure that it won’t be my best,
and not my worst.
I see! It’s meant to be an exercise
for poets, thus therein it’s value lies.

© Lawrencealot – September 5, 2014

Visual template

Decathlon

 

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