The Phillimore

The Phillimore is a stanzaic form that moves from dimeter to pentameter and back again. It is named for John Swinnerton Phillimore (1873-1926) and patterned after his poem In a Meadow.

The Phillimore is:

  • stanzaic written in any number of octaves. (original poem has 6 octaves)
  • metered, L1, L4,L6 and L8 are dimeter, L2,L3,L5, and L7 are pentameter.
  • rhymed, aabbccdd.
    In a Meadow by John Swinnerton Phillimore

THIS is the place
Where far from the unholy populace
The daughter of Philosophy and Sleep
Her court doth keep,
Sweet Contemplation. To her service bound
Hover around
The little amiable summer airs,
Her courtiers.

The deep black soil
Makes mute her palace-floors with thick trefoil;
The grasses sagely nodding overhead
Curtain her bed;
And lest the feet of strangers overpass
Her walls of grass,
Gravely a little river goes his rounds
To beat the bounds.

—No bustling flood
To make a tumult in her neighbourhood,
But such a stream as knows to go and come
Discreetly dumb.
Therein are chambers tapestried with weeds
And screen’d with reeds;
For roof the waterlily-leaves serene
Spread tiles of green.

The sun’s large eye
Falls soberly upon me where I lie;
For delicate webs of immaterial haze
Refine his rays.
The air is full of music none knows what,
Or half-forgot;
The living echo of dead voices fills
The unseen hills.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=668
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on the fine PoetryMagnumOpus resource.

My example poem

With Love Possessed (The Pillimore)

I won’t repent.
I love your touch, your hair, your smile, your scent.
Anticipation takes my breath away
throughout the day.
A gesture made, a turning of your head,
with nothing said
provokes desire and happiness in me
for all to see!

If you ignite
desire by accident it’s quite alright
for fates have so aligned so both that lust
is right and just.
When I’m away, I agonize my dear,
that you’re not here.
Dispelled is every other form of strife
my darling wife.

© Lawrencealot – June 10, 2014

Visual template

The Phillimore

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