Dr Stella

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.

• Dr Stella is a verse using sequential rhyme*. It was developed by James Gray in honor of Dr Stella Woodall who was at one time president of the American Poetry League and editor of a couple of poetry magazines.

The Dr Stella is:
an octave made up of 2 quatrains.
metered, alternating iambic tetrameter and trimeter.
rhymed, abcdabcd. L2 and L6 have feminine end words.

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.

*This is also known as external rhyme or remote rhyme.

My example

Nail-Biting (Dr Stella)

Two golden-agers in a room
complained about mate’s habits.
“It irritates and drives me mad,
I need to find relief”.
“I know the way to cure your groom

as I did mine, dad-nabbit. 
Do what I did to my old Brad
and simply hide his teeth.”

© Lawrencealot – September 6, 2014

Visual template

Dr Stella

Pentibrach

It is so named because of the unique metric foot proposed by its creator Glenn Meisenheimer, known on Allpoetry as gmcookie.

He proposed a five syllable metric foot with only the center syllable being accented.  Because of its resemblance to an amphibrach with an unaccented syllable affixed to each end, I named this the pentibrach.   If scholars find a precedent we will of course bow to an established usage.

The poem is stanzaic, consisting of at least two quatrains.
It is syllabic: 10/9/10/7
It uses external rhyme, rhyming the last line of each stanza. (xxxa)
I realize there are alternative options to provide a metric schema, but I shall use the authors own presentation, and define here the metric feet to be used:

The pentibrach:             da da DUM da da
The secundus paeon:    da DUM da da
The iamb:                        da DUM

Each stanza is formed thus:
L1 & L3      two pentibrach feet
L2               a pentibrach followed by a secundus paeon
L4               a pentibrach followed by an iamb

The author’s original poem.

Kandahar

As the shadows fall and the daylight fades
And the owl flirts with the whippoorwill,
In that twilight time when the nightingale
Sings his love songs to the stars,

You will find me here in the umbral dark
As I wend through trees and monuments,
In the gloaming dusk when the sunlight fades
And when Jupiter joins Mars.
It is only then, from this cursed ground,
There is strength in my soliloquy,
As I raise my voice on the evening breeze
And I sing my ghost-thin bars.

It’s an ancient tune yet a timely one
Of a sailor washed ashore near here
Who was buried deep in this Christian soil
Far away from Kandahar.

My Attempt at one:

Entranced     (Pentibrach)

As she stretched her arms to the morning’s dim
and her curvature delighted me
 I assumed that I’m just a blessed guy
who was honored here by chance.

The is nothing that would predict that I
should be met on earth by goddesses
or be catered to by the likes of her.
Don’t disturb me from this trance.

© Lawrencealot – February 15, 2014
Visual Template

 

Rimas Dissolutas

This was originally a French form
 The form is isosyllabic  (all lines have the same number of syllables)
Meter optional
Line length optional
There is no stanza length requirement
There is no rhyming permitted within a stanza.
Each stanza must be like each other stanza
(same number of syllables, meter if any ,line length)
Line n in each stanza must rhyme with the same line in each other stanza. (External Rhyme)
Other sources:**************************************************
The Rimas Dissolutas is a French troubadouric verse (12th-13th centuries) in which unrhymed stanzas rhyme line by line with all of the other stanzas. This was a departure from the strict rhyme schemes of the day. The rhyme is there but it is more subtle.
The Rimas Dissolutas is:
  • stanzaic, written in any # of uniform length stanzas, all quatrains or all tercets or all sixains etc.
  • in keeping with most old French forms the verse is syllabic. One site suggests it is isosyllabic meaning all lines have the same number syllables, number of syllables at the discretion of the poet.
  • unrhymed lines within the stanza.
  • rhymed lines between stanzas.
  • sometimes written with an envoi which would be half the number of lines of the stanzas using the rhyme of the later lines of the stanzas.If the poem was written in sixains the rhyme would look like this:
Stanza 1
x x x x x a
x x x x x b
x x x x x c
x x x x x d
x x x x x e
Add’l Stanzas
x x x x x a
x x x x x b
x x x x x c
x x x x x d
x x x x x e
Envoi…
x x x x x c
x x x x x d
Thanks to Ms.  Van Gorder for the find PMO resorce.
Rimas Dissolutas (Troubadouric song)
I was delighted to discover recently that this was recognised – in some quarters, anyway – as a standard form, and had a name. In rimas dissolutas, the stanzas are all similar, and all use the same rhymes. The first lines all rhyme with each other, the second lines all rhyme with each other, and so on. These are all external rhymes; there are no rhymes between lines in the same stanza. 
The blessed Malcovati calls this form the troubadouric song, giving it as the only member of a category of open forms he calls coblas unissonantis (a Provençal term which he assures us is in common use). It is normal, he tells us, for there to be an envoi, shorter than the other stanzas but rhyming with the latter part of them.
Thanks to Bob Newman for the Wonderful Resource Site.
Example Poe
Groceries    (Rimas  Dissolutas)

 

We touch and kiss and hold and hug,
and work to earn our daily bread.
Our foodstuff’s ready in the store –
our meat our milk our wines our cake.
A small bird looking for a bug
about to be a meal instead
we breed to fatten, kill, and more
are we more proper than the snake?
© Lawrencealot – February 7, 2014

Picture credit: google images, rights belong to photographer.

Her is a visual template that just happened to choose
Iambic tetrameter quatrains.