Spenserian Stanza

The following description is reposted with permission from The Poets Garret, with thanks to Jem Farmer for her help with that site.

Spenserian Stanza

Edmund Spenser used a distinctive verse form, now known as the Spenserian Stanza in several of his works, most notable is the epic Faerie Queen. The stanza has Nine lines and the main meter is iambic pentameter (10 syllables) over the first eight lines with a final line in iambic hexameter (12 syllables)

Stanza’s Rhyme Scheme: is; a. b. a. b. b. c. b..c. c., and typically has a caesura, or break, after the first three feet

Forth came that auncient Lord and aged Queene,
Arayd in antiquerobes downe to the ground,
And sad habiliments right well beseene;
Anoble crew about them waited round
Of sage and sober Peres, all gravely gownd;
Whom farre before did march a goodly band
Of tall young men, all hable armes to sownd,
But now they laurell braunches bore in hand;
Glad signe of victorie and peace in all their land.

from The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

The form made a comeback in the Romantic period particularly with the poets Shelley and Byron:and it may be noted that Shelley did not stick to IP

Oh weep for Adonais! — The quick Dreams,
The passion-winged Ministers of thought,
Who were his flocks, whom near the living streams
Of his young spirit fed, and whom he taught,
The love which was its music, wander not, —
Wander no more, from kindling brain to brain,
But droop there, whence they sprung; and mourn their lot
Round the cold heart, where, after their sweet pain,
They ne’er will gather strength, or find a home again.

from Adonais, An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by PB Shelley

 

My Example

Form: Spenserian Stanza

Untrained

One takes a mutt mitt when one walks his pup
if walking upon decent city streets.
If pup should poop, you ought to pick it up.
I’ve special gloves made out of plastic sheets;
the awkward ugliness that glove defeats.
I’ve taught my pup to backup to a shrub
where he calmly his nature’s call completes.
It’s seldom that he ever makes a flub.
the glove’s left home; I’m less well-trained, and that’s the rub.

© Lawrencealot – February 25, 2015

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Note: This poet forgot about the suggested caesura after the first three feet, so in that regard this is an atypical stanza.

Novelinee

The following description is reposted with permission from The Poets Garret, with thanks to Sarah Rayburn.

Novelinee

Created by Sarah Rayburn, the novelinee is a 9 line stanza derived from the Spenserian stanza but written in iambic pentameter or decasyllabic lines. If used as part of a sequence a variation of the closing line should be used as lead line for the next stanza. In the case of a closed novelinee the last stanza would end with a variation of the first line of the first stanza.

Stanza Rhyme Scheme: a. b. a. b. c. d. c..d. d.

 

 

Betrayal of Trust

 

From mists of Avalon she came in white
supernova who split my heart in two
and left untouched silence in endless night
no skyward star to guide my passage through.
While drinking wine I gave my love away
for whispered promises given out of lust,
believing hearts could breathe again today
my dreams now lie amid unwanted dust,
my heart shattered by betrayals of trust.

Sarah Rayburn

 

 


 

Novelinee Sequence

 

Sweet nightingale, unparalleled beauty,
my worldly thoughts will drown in idle words,
if I did not reflect the love I see,
and deny love is nought but food for birds.
I dream my arm is loosely round your waist,
so I shall hear divinity in your song,
and dream upon your eyes with loving haste,
to sip from lips of wine where I belong
and trust the sweetest breath will keep us strong.

With trust the sweetest breath to keep us strong,
my jewel of love to whom I grant my heart,
with words and smiles for days that seem so long,
so fate has cast the miles to keep apart.
In crystal vagaries we’re hand in hand,
whilst waterfalls cascade a rhythmic beat,
as when we kissed upon the golden sand,
below the rugged crags in love’s retreat,
our passion found in nature’s dancing feet.

When passion’s found in nature’s dancing feet,
above the greenest valleys, smile Black hills,
with fragrant flowers dazzling eyes shall meet,
where dragonflies commingle by the rills.
Your heart in truth a loving paradise,
where feelings flow and openly confess,
in daring glances tempting looks of ice,
for you, my love, are more than words express,
I can’t resist your spell of loveliness.

Sarah Rayburn

 

 


 

Motherland ~~~ Closed Novelinee

 

Across the bay where beauty waits for me,
beneath the sun-kissed mountain waterfalls,
enchanting eyes shall tame the wild and free,
my heart is bound by love as Cymru calls.
The cloudy blue of railway smoke dissolved
against the ageing roofing slates of old,
attractions mined before our time evolved,
and children chalked their words in letters bold,
when mountain streams still flowed with yellow gold.

The mountain streams that flowed with yellow gold,
and wrought the wedding bands of royal kings,
still whisper love and tales the bards oft told,
and magic echoes o’er the valleys and springs.
The land where dragons roam and wizards dwell,
where singing voices set our fathers free,
returning home my heart begins to swell,
rejoice my pride in Wales, her mystery,
across the bay her beauty stood by me.

Sarah Rayburn

 

 

My Example

Form: Novelinee

Electric Earth

This century, the twenty-first, will change
forever attitudes that humans share.
Relationships shall surely rearrange
for we’ll have energy at last, to spare.
Our batteries will be charged by the sun
and oilfield ownership won’t mean a hoot.
The politics of greed shall come undone.
We’ll find some other reason for dispute,
but gone will be our reason to pollute.

© Lawrencealot – February 25, 2015

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Nocturna

Since I found this form nowhere else, but repeated many times by different poets on The Poets Garret site, I am making assumptions based upon the poems found there.

Specifications Restated:

  • A 9 line poem based upon a nocturnal theme
  • Rhyme Scheme: abacbcdbd
  • Metered in iambic pentameter.

The following description is reposted with permission from The Poets Garret, with thanks to Terry Clitheroe.

Nocturna

The word was first used by Christians and was a form of night prayers Later appeared in the 18th century and was derived from the French nocturnal and was usually music inspired by the night and played at evening parties. During that time poetry was also recited.

The painter Whistler used that name in some of his paintings, they also had a night theme, which in turn inspired Chopin to write his well loved Nocturnes.

The Nocturna is basically a nine line poetry form based on the nocturne theme containing three, three line lessons recited during the night. The subject must be nocturnal and it consists of three couplets linked by the rhyme of the centre line;

a. b. a. c. b. c. d. b. d.

My Star ‘Till The Morn

She sang softly like a bird taking flight,
It was then that I fell in love with her.
I wanted to hear her all through the night
Though the radio now plays another song,
I imagined that her voice was pure sugar
Her presence now haunts me all winter long
I close my eyes, because a dream’s been born,
I know I will see her soon this summer
The woman who’s now my star til the morn.

Terry Clitheroe

 

My Example

Form: Nocturna

Toward Brighter Nights


Attending school and working in the day
I’m occupied, but that’s not true at night.
My lonely longing comes when you’re away.
The moon that gave your lovely face a glow
when on our swing we held each other tight
brings brightness to the frigid fields of snow.
For one more season we will be apart
then your return shall set my ev’nings right
and knowing that allows me to take heart.

© Lawrencealot – February 24, 2015

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Muzdawidj

The following description is reposted with permission from The Poets Garret, with thanks to Kathy Anderson.

Muzdawidj

Persian poetry influenced other nations and whilst Turkish poetry also developed it was slightly later and influenced by Persian poetry and was popular in Turkey until the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Early Urdu Mathnawi was at first religious in nature, but because of Persian influence included romance, and adventure and even secular stories.

The Arabic Mathnawi (Called Muzdawidj) has one major difference in that it is presented as a triplet; a. a. a. / b. b. b. / c. c. c.. pattern, rather than a couplet like the Persian version.

 

 

This Bitter Earth

 

It went to my head what you said yesterday
And again the thoughts burn yet become doubts play
For whenever hearts are involved I must pray.

How goes these whispers into the heavenlies
To evoke imaginative displays, please
Me as much as the cello with bow glories.

Charms take me away as do the words we speak,
When there are clouds in our eyes they tend to leak
For far gone days and flung desires bespeak.

Kathy Anderson

 

See also: Mathnawi

My Example

Form: Muzdawidj

Taxies

How familiar is that grand old checker cab
where passengers sometimes feel compelled to gab,
for like a barkeep, it’s covered by the tab.
Put tradition and romance off to the side,
Sometimes a taxi’s a must if you’re to ride.
Frequently it’s hard to find a better guide.

© Lawrencealot – February 21 2015

Mathnawi

The following description is reposted with permission from The Poets Garret, with thanks to Ryter Roethicle and Kathy Anderson.

Mathnawi

Mathnawi or Masnavi is normally poetry written in rhyming couplets. It is believed it emerged from an Iranian form around the 4th – 10th century, and the name is Persian and is not Arabic as some claim. The subject is usually heroic, romantic, or religious. Some Persian Mathnawi are especially significant in Sufism, Rumi’s Mathnawi-i-Ma’nawi is an outstanding example.

Most Persian Mathnawi are normally eleven (11) syllables, occasionally ten (10). There is no limit to the number of couplets. It has a rhyme scheme a. a.. b. b.. c. c. etc as shown in the following example:

Nature

Each and every plant that pushes forth new leaves
Is well aware of the life that it conceives

Richly blossoming forth its symbolic scenes
That helps to procreate and pass on its genes

So reliant on symbiosis for the key
It needs the help of creatures like worker bees

And all the other creatures that pass on seed
Those creatures fertilize each plant and weed

And as the seasons each year wax and wane
With time we see one year’s loss is another’s gain

We discover that Nature balances out with time
Making certain that nothing can e’re out-climb

All things are equal with Nature we must learn
And a balanced life must be our main concern.

Ryter Roethicle

Persian poetry also influenced other nations and whilst Turkish poetry also developed it was slightly later and influenced by Persian poetry and was popular in Turkey until the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Early Urdu Mathnawi was at first religious in nature, but because of Persian influence included romance, and adventure and even secular stories.

Arabic Mathnawi (Also called Muzdawidj) has one major difference in that it is presented as a triplet; a. a. a. / b. b. b. / c. c. c.. pattern, rather than a couplet shown previously.

Gone

It went to my head what you said yesterday
And again the thoughts burn yet become doubts play
For whenever hearts are involved I must pray.

How goes these whispers into the heavenlies
To evoke imaginative displays, please
Me as much as the cello with bow glories.

Charms take me away as do the words we speak,
When there are clouds in our eyes they tend to leak
For far gone days and flung desires bespeak.

Kathy Anderson

 

 

My Examples

Form: Mathnawi

Enough With the Snow (Persian)

‘Twas frigid, icy, wet and damnably cold
and by now, I’ll bet you know, it’s getting old.
One dismal tidbit hidden in winter facts
is the rise in shovel sponsored heart-attacks.

© Lawrencealot – February 21, 2015

OK, Let it Snow (Arabic)

I refuse to be among the number dead.
I’ll hire teenage boys to do the work instead
‘cus I’m a codger who’s learned to use my head.

© Lawrencealot – February 21, 2015

Magic 9

The following description is reposted with permission from The Poets Garret, with thanks to Divena Collins.

Magic 9

Typing too fast is often the cause of spelling mistakes and one day Abracadabra was typed as a b a c a d a b a and right away a poetry form appeared. As can be seen its simply a progression around the first line and with lines 2 and 8 rhyming with each other also. Here is an example.

Bewitched

Shalt not thy deprave the spell of love
enchanted words that melts the heart
that cast thy spells deep within thereof
within a mystical aura of spiritual magic
that only lovers become reminiscent of
powers of the occult shall be of sorcery
percieved from insight of spirits above
inspiration within shall not ever depart
when a bewitched spell is as worthy of

Divena Collins

Magic 9 Specifications restated:

A poetry form created by Divena Collins. It is:

  • A 9 line poem
  • Line-length and metrics at the discretion of the poet
  • Rhyme pattern: abacadaba

My Example

Form: Magic 9

Take This Job and Bag It

I took a job, I was a stoop!
My college costs I had to pay.
I had to catch elephant poop
at the in-town animal show.
I used a sack upon a hoop;
if I missed a load, woe was me
I had to clean it with a scoop.
I’d never want to fall behind,
there weren’t just two, there was a troop.

© Lawrencealot – February 20, 2015

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Enclosed Triplet

The following description is reposted with permission from The Poets Garret, with thanks to Divena Collins.

Enclosed Triplet

The Enclosed triplet is a very interesting form and if the a.b.a..b.c.b. format is used it forms the basis for the Sicilian Triplet , Terza Rima, using the enclosed word as continuity, or where lines or words are repeated there is the Villanelle, or later the Terzanelle.

The alternative left with is to have the centre unrelated completely as shown below.

Feelings

How would we know if our feelings are low
So low that teardrops stain porcelain faces
When faces are painted a warm loving glow

Which glows through when a lover embraces
If his embraces are few how may we know
Shall love flow when a tender heart races.

How can it be when true love hurts so much
So much it can break in two loving hearts
When hearts may respond to a sensual touch.

For touch prevents them from falling apart
Playing a part of true lovers games as such
To stop love from hurting is a work of art.

It could be that love came much too late
That it was never to be for you and me
For the love we had then was our fate.

Divena Collins

My Example

Form: Enclosed Triplet

Abhorrent

Some words I think I must abhor
for they are words I seldom use
but now I’ll try to use them more.

Like pardon, when I mean excuse
me madam, will you move your ass?
Or, loose by people who mean lose.

Correcting them, when done with class,
requires that I must bite my tongue;
when poets do it, it’s most crass.

© Lawrencealot – February 18, 2015

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Trisect

The following desription is reposted with permission from Form and Formlessness, with thanks to Erin A. Thomas, who also writes on Allpoetry as Zahhar.

My 1st trisect poem. The trisect is my own semantically complex poetic form which I will use to help me with developing my use of depictive language.

E merge nce


Fortress

walls of paper kept the world at bay
cubes of indistinction none would see
where settled there within a watcher peered

the dusty brown a perfect camouflage
propped against a wall or by a hedge
passed a thousand times by reckless feet

corrugated fibers held the wind
so that the space inside was made to form
a child’s island haven from the storm

sometimes it was a spaceship among the stars
sometimes a moon-base on a barren scape
sometimes a roving tank all battle-scarred
but always it provided safe escape


Goliath

shaped from molten vats of ore
molded by a burning greed
riveted with violent force
pieces merge to fill a need

manifest from heavy silence
oils surge and slowly drip
uncertainty across the roads

power charges through its frame
explosions channeled in its chest
to serve a senseless master’s will

tires grind an alley’s dirt
shadows steer a ghostly wheel
the phantom grill athirst for blood


Impact

black lightning strikes the living clay
evaporating life from every limb
suspending consciousness alone
void of breath yet interfused with fear

tires spin throughout the dark
an engine roars above a twisted neck
inches from a lifeless face
psychic tethers anchored in vibration

a heedless monster lumbers back
the shelter shattered open like a nest
blood resumes its former course
and wild bones reanimate the flesh

a figure stands and staggers numb with pain
screams and scampers filled with terror
headlights rear and fade away
a child’s bones left fractured like his mind


The first segment focuses on cardboard. I used to create cardboard forts when I was a child—sometimes very elaborate—and hang out in them all day long. Some of them would be portable, and some would be built in vacant lots or alleyways blocks or miles from home. They were always very well camouflaged, so my little hideout would remain my little hideout. The portable ones I’d often setup at the edge of a busy parking lot, made to look like a pile of scrap cardboard, where I’d hang out and just watch people without them knowing. These simple forts were a safe haven for me, a private place to go and be away from troubles and worries. And I had my share.

The second segment focuses on the automobile, the car. I remember reading up on their manufacturing process and design, and the primary materials used in their construction, before starting this segment.

The third segment focuses on a little mishap I had in one of those cardboard forts as a 14 year old, which involved a car. It was in an alleyway a few blocks from home. City blocks. Los Angeles City blocks. About a mile away at least. I had some big fight with my mother that day and decided I’d just have my own space that night in a cardboard fort I and a friend had built a day or two before. It was a beautiful fort, with four separate compartments, each of which were big enough to lay out flat in. The whole thing was masterfully camouflaged with various sorts of debris from the area, including dead palm branches and branches of other sorts. In the end it looked like a slash pile, just a bunch of branches and other random materials tossed into a pile—but it was hollow, and there were access points.

That night as I slept a car slammed into the fort and ran over my right arm, shoulder, and neck, breaking the upper arm longways from near the elbow across to the top near the ball socket, and blew a piece out of the ball socket itself. My neck was severely sprained—which is of course a miracle. It was possible to make out the tire treads on my throat. How I happened to be aligned such that the tire didn’t snap my head one way and pop my skull off the spine like a bottle opener I have no idea.

This was my first NDE. I have no way to prove it, but I just know. I know what I experienced, and I was dead for at least a moment—and a moment is long enough to be dead. Sometime I’ll dedicate some poetry and discussion to that experience. But as I “returned”, after the car had somehow managed to back up off me without running over my neck a second time, I sprang up in a panic, and it came toward me again, then stopped, then backed all the way down the alley and around the far corner, as if in a mad rush to escape affiliation with the mishap. I’ll never forget the sight of those headlights.

I was near a series of hotels. And each time I knocked, with my left arm since right wouldn’t respond, the owners would come to the door and I’d ask for help and they’d slam the door on me. It sucked. In this manner I ended up up making my way half a mile to an apartment complex my mom had lived in a year or so before, where some people knew me, and an ambulance was called.

Somonka

The following description is reposted with permission from Poetry Magnum Opus, with thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine resource.

The Somonka, is a Japanese verse form that takes the frame of 2 tankas and carries a central theme of love. From that point there are differences of opinion in the scope of the subject and in how many poets are involved. The earliest Somonkas can be found as far back as the Man’yôshû, 1st century AD. They were the exchange of romantic poems between court lovers. Viola Berg’s Pathways For a Poet-1973 refers to the Somonka as the Rengo.

The Somonka can be simply an exchange of romantic love poems. But there are other Somonkas in which the exchange expresses all types of love; love between friends, sisters, parent and child etc. All sources suggest the first tanka should be a statement of love and the second a response to that statement. “Love” has also been broadened to “What does the world need?” by students in LA California who joined with a group of students in Africa’s Kenya. In their project, each student wrote a statement tanka and exchanged it with a student from the other country for response.

Although the Somanka is most commonly found written by 2 poets, there are Somonkas written by a single poet.

The elements of the Somonka are:

  1. a poem in 10 lines, made up of 2 tankas.
  2. syllabic, 5-7-5-7-7 5-7-5-7-7 syllables per line.
  3. composed in the form of statement-response,
  4. often written by 2 poets, one writing the statement the other the response but a single poet can write both parts.
  5. titled.
  6. unrhymed.
  7. built around the theme of love.

Example

The following description and example are reposted with permission from Writer’s Digest, with thanks to Robert Lee Brewer


The somonka is a Japanese form. In fact, it’s basically two tankas written as two love letters to each other (one tanka per love letter). This form usually demands two authors, but it is possible to have a poet take on two personas. 

Here’s an example somonka:

“Sugar,” by Robert Lee Brewer

I’m waiting to die;
I think it will happen soon–
this morning, I saw
two bright hummingbirds battling
over some sugar water.

I know; I was there.
I chased after them for you
until thirst stopped me.
Fetch me some water. I have
a little sugar for you.

Rhopalic Couplet

The folowing description is reposted with permission from Poetry Magnum Opus, with thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on that fine resource.

The Rhopalic Couplet, (Greek = club like or thicker at the end, also called Wedge Verse, first used by Homer in the Iliad 3.182,) a poetic unit of 2 rhopalic lines, each word progresses adding 1 more syllable than the preceding word in the line. The lines can either be parallel or the order can be reversed in the second line. The lines need not be rhymed.

x xx xxx xxxx
x xx xxx xxxx
or
x xx xxx xxxx
xxxx xxx xx x

My Example

Form: Rhopalic Couplet

Soothsayer (Rhopalic Couplet)

I predict recurring occurrences
by finding cyclical phenomena
that possess meaningful correlations
influencing selected target base.

© Lawrencealot – February 16, 2015