Inverted Refrain

  • Inverted Refrain is an invented form found at Shadow Poetry, created by the winner of their 2007 Chap Book Competition, Jan Turner and published in Faery Folk and Fireflies.
    I believe the form took its name from the rhetorical device, “inverted refrain”, originally used by the ancient Greek poet Sappho. “Inverted refrain” is a writing technique in which the syntax of a line is reversed. eg ..the Sapphic line “I know not what to do”. I am not sure that the composition instruction at Shadow Poetry exactly fits the literary definition of “inverted refrain” but the form could still be a fun challenge to conquer as long as it enhances the delivery of the poet’s thoughts,
    The Inverted Refrain as an invented verse form is:

    • stanzaic, written in any number of sixains, made up of a quatrain followed by an indented couplet.
    • syllabic, all lines are 8 syllables.
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme ababab or ababba, cdcdcd or cdcddc etc….
    • composed in the following manner, “the first four lines of a stanza create a statement from which the last 2 lines extract the meaning, and invert the way it is said.” Jan Turner @Shadow Poetry
  • Finding Faeries by Jan Turner (stanza 1) the whole poem can be read at Shadow Poetry.
    A sprinkling shine of faery dust
    is mica-layered on the rocks
    Pretending to be nature’s crust
    It really is a paradox:
    ——— A paradox of mica rocks
    ——— From faery dust on nature’s crust.
Many thanks to Judi Van Gorder of PMO (PoetryMagnumOpus) for maintaining a wonderful resouce site.
 
Example Poem
White Man’s Heaven      (Inverted Refrain)
He didn’t know about the Lord
so was exempt from Cath’lic hell.
The church tried bringing him aboard
but he was fallible and fell.
        Instead of finding Lord’s reward
        he now in mortal fear must dwell.
© Lawrencealot – November 28, 2013
Visual Template
Tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *