During my first two years on Allpoetry it became obvious that one of, if not the most utilized new form was Jan Turner’s Trijan Refrain. To honor it, and simultaneously give a poet a vehicle for a weightier topic, with more flexibility I created, what I now consider an ill-advised form which in a contest was given the name San Gabriel Refrain. I consider it ill-advised because it has too much flexibility and therefore is fine as a writing exercise, but loses it’s identity as a recognizable form. It has one more line than the venerable TR, the first line need not be repeated in each stanza, and the refrain may be taken from one line and repeated, be multiple refrains taken from any of the longer lines. Later, I amended the specs to allow iambic pentameter, further diluting the form identity.
I am now of the opinion that a new form should be identifiable, and that all deviations from the specific requirements be simply up to the poet’s discretion.
There comes now a newer form created by Allan Emery, aka Joe King on Allpoetry which has a unique identity, with one fewer lines than the TR, but with no stanza limit, or line one repetition requirement.
I have interpreted the specifications as:
It is stanzaic, consisting of any number of septets
It is syllabic: 8/8/8/8/4/4/8
It is rhymed: aabbccb
It requires the first half of L3 to be a repeated refrain as lines 5 and 6
It is metric, writing in iambic tetrameter/dimeter.
I proposed the name of this form to be the Bastard Refrain and ran an Allpoetry contest. The participation was slight, and some thought it was because the name put off some, so it has been re-christened the Brain Strain Refrain.
My example poem:
Lifted (Brain Strain Refrain)
Her wings are hidden but they’re there
beneath her golden locks of hair
unseen by men who walk this earth,
who note her happiness and mirth.
Unseen by men –
unseen by men
though all of them can see her worth.
Those wings extend to touch my mind
and when our thoughts are so combined
We fly to heights reserved for few.
I’m blessed by being loved by you.
We fly to heights;
We fly to heights
while other people have no clue.
© Lawrencealot – June 3, 2014