Dream Song

The Dream Song at first glance could probably be considered a style or genre of poetry because of the prominent “dream theme”. But with more careful examination, the Dream Song is a framed verse form with a specific stanzaic prescription. It was created by American poet, John Berryman’s (1914-1972) book of 77 Dream Songs . He continued to write Dream Songs after the book was published and there are over 400 of his Dream Songs in circulation. The poems seem to me to be recordings of Berryman’s dreams in verse. They are often disjointed and bizarre although the frame of the poems remains consistent. There is a reoccurring character Henry who as a black faced minstrel is called Mr. Bones. The poems include “wrenched syntax, scrambled diction, extraordinary leaps of language and tone, and wild mixture of high lyricism and low comedy” . Poem Hunter.com.

The Dream Song is:
• a verse form, the poem is written in 3 sixains, 18 lines.
• metric, Accentual, usually L1,L2,L4,& L5 5 stresses and L3 & L6 have 3 stresses. As long as 4 lines are longer and L3 & L6 are shorter, the rhythm is jerky much like the content.
• rhymed, rhyme patterns vary from stanza to stanza however there are normally 3 rhymes per stanza. abcabc abccba, aabccb, abbacc are a few of the patterns. abcbac is the pattern of the stanza below.

Dream Song #112 by John Berryman 

My framework is broken, I am coming to an end,
God send it soon. When I had most to say
my tongue clung to the roof
I mean of my mouth. It is my Lady’s birthday
which must be honored, and has been. God send
it soon.

I now must speak to my disciples, west
and east. I say to you, Do not delay
I say, expectation is vain.
I say again, It is my Lady’s birthday
which must be honoured. Bring her to the test
at once.

I say again, It is my Lady’s birthday
which must be honoured, for her high black hair
but not for that alone:
for every word she utters everywhere
shows her good soul, as true as a healed bone,—
being part of what I meant to say.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=623
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My Example

Re-curring Dream (Dream Song)

Alone, depressed, confused, but well, I dream.
I’m working at a place I’ve never seen.
Achievement comes with ease.
I’m asked to make a lunch run for the team
Two blocks away exists a small canteen
“Get crackers, coffee, cheese!”

The walk there’s pleasant, takes no time at all.
The staff all greet me smiling, with good cheer
and hand me tasty eats.
I leave and find I’m in a massive mall
it’s blocks across and doors are nowhere near,
and none return to streets.

I ask for help, and people point the way;
they’re wrong! I ask again and people stare…
Of course they do, I’m nude.
I criss and cross the sprawling mall all day
I’m nearly nuts but suffer no despair –
I’ve all the friggin’ food.

© Lawrencealot – December 7, 2014

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Dream Song


Structure, End Word Requirement
The four-line stanza version of the sestina with the typical end-word enfolding.
Attributed to:
Bob Newman
12 / 34
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
Line/Poem Length:
Another variation for which I accept full responsibility is the quartina.  This uses the same idea as the sestina but only has 4 keywords, hence is only 18 lines long. Here’s one:
This is the day when we shall see the moon
Dispute the morning sky; usurp the sun;
Beshroud the world in unaccustomed dark.
We know this – and we know it won’t last long.
This is the day; the wait will not be long
Until we’re on the dark side of the moon.
Unseen by us, our life-giver, the sun,
Will impotently rage against the dark.
The birds, lulled into silence by the dark,
Will tuck heads under wings – but not for long.
Two minutes only, this night of the moon,
Before the sky is reclaimed by the sun.
Though there is nothing new under the sun,
All seems new at the dying of the dark.
A second full dawn chorus, loud and long
Will celebrate the passing of the moon.
Don’t worry when the moon obscures the sun.
Although the day be dark, it won’t be long.
I chose the name “quartina” so that I could write flawed ones.
© Bob Newman 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. All rights reserved
My thanks to Bob Newman for his wonderful resource site.

My Example Poem

Do You Suppose?     (Quartina)
A girl well knows what means a rose
when she can get one from a man.
Of course she might prefer a Porsche;
the goal then might be mistress role.
If rolling in the hay’s your role
I don’t suppose you need a rose.
If much elan defines your man
Of course one might expect a Porsche
It’s never coarse to own a Porsche
or take control of your own role,
but heaven knows a red, red rose
might show the game-plan of a man.
I really can picture a man
who owns a horse, but not a Porsche
with plenty soul for either role
who might propose with just one rose.
So take the rose and love the man
forget the Porsche and part-time role.
© Lawrencealot – January 8, 2013


Visual Template
This is a Quartina ( in iambic tetrameter with added internal rhyme)




The Mononet is an invented form  (weren’t they all), created seven years ago by B Chandler of Allpoetry.
It is a complete poem of 18 lines consisting of two octave stanzas and a couplet.
It is syllabic with the 5th line of each octave and the final line of the couplet having 12 syllables, line 17 having 6 syllables,and all other lines having 11 syllables.
Line 5 of each octave consists of six syllables repeated. (Half line refrain).
Line 8 of Stanza 1 is repeated as line 18.  (Full line refrain.)
Rhyme Scheme: abab(AA)baB cdcd(CC)dcd aB
or                          abba(AA)bbA2 cdcc(DD)dcd aA2
 where the capital letters indicate partial or whole line refrains.
The creator’s poem, and my visual template will clarify the specifications.
Her Example
Simplicity Capturing
For a time alone, things seem lost in a show
While beauty is standstill, this soul knew life
In ways that can’t comprehend but gained its low
As time passes during seasoned change and rife—
Epiphanies re-grow, epiphanies re-grow
Words of splendor and phrases lost into strife,
These limbs stood idle; momentum grandeur’s bow
For surroundings of new plus old, there lies its knife
Caught within this dream of rebirth, though all knew
At this point, another soul walked alongside
The woods enthralled from things unforeseen thus grew
Rediscovered lights through shadowed paths reside-
For knowledge’s wind blew…for knowledge’s wind blew
Heads bowed—silence reigned and trails of tranquil pride
Wrote lines of creation; hued colors mixed flew
To the only place were serenity’s guides
Epiphanies re-grow…
To the only place were serenity’s guides
Visual Template


The ATRINA form was Invented by Keith Metcalf Drew of AllPoetry.A stanzaic poem of 18 lines, consisting of 3 quatrains and a sestet.
It is isosyllabic, each line have 8 syllables.
Rhymed: AaaA BbbB CccC AaBbCc where the capital letters indicate refrain lines.
The first and last lines in each verse are exactly the same.
The third line in each verse is of similar wording to the second line or reversed i however prefer it if you use the same words but reversed.
Then when you have written the three verses.
The fourth verse consists of the first two lines from each of the three verses.
Here is an example:
Her heart it pales in shades of grey,
The pain inside to ever stay,
Inside the pain to ever stay,
Her heart it pales in shades of grey,
Reciting all the poems she’d read,
The lover lost within her bed,
Lost the lover within her bed,
Reciting all the poems she’d read,
And deep within she still believes,
The angels keep her heart its grief,
The grief her heart the angels keep,
And deep within she still believes,
Her heart it pales in shades of grey,
The pain inside to ever stay,
Reciting all the poems she’d read,
The lover lost within her bed,
And deep within she still believes.
The angels keep her heart its grief.
 Example Poem
From the Mist    (Atrina)
A love like yours is heaven’s gift.
It saved a soul that was adrift.
A soul was saved that was adrift.
A love like yours is heaven’s gift.
You came to me out of the mist.
Your lips demanding to be kissed.
Your lips expecting to be kissed.
You came to me out of the mist.
I left mere mortals on the shore
to be with you forever more.
with you I’ll be forever more.
I left mere mortals on the shore.
A love like yours is heaven’s gift.
It saved a soul that was adrift.
You came to me out of the mist.
Your lips demanding to be kissed.
I left mere mortals on the shore
to be with you forever more.
© Lawrencealot – March 10, 2013
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Dandizette form created by discoveria of Allpoetry.com
3 six line stanzas
the form is partially inspired by the villanelle, and features a tricky repetition of four refrain lines in the final stanza.
the syllable count for the first twostanzas  is  8/6/8/8/6/8.
The last stanza has lines of  6/6/6/6/8/8 syllables.
The rhyme scheme is ababcb cbcdcd bcbcee. (ababcbcbcdcdbcbcee)
The final stanza is composed of lines 2, 5, 8, 11 from the previous two stanzas, plus a concluding rhyming couplet.
Where they reappear in the last stanza, the four repeated lines should make sense together as well as making sense where they are first used. Meter is optional.
Example Poem
Beneath the Dancing Lights  (Dandizette)
Every fellow  here wants first dance.
She is a lovely tease
though proper for a girl from France.
With her shape she does dress to please
with bodice cut so low.
‘Twould be a thrill to watch her sneeze.
Tonight the breeze will lightly blow
outside beneath the trees
the lights will swing and sway as though
they are dancing too.  As on stage
in dancing lights she’ll glow.
She’ll attract men of any age.
She is a lovely tease
with bodice cut so low.
Outside beneath the trees
in dancing lights she’ll glow.
She will light up many man’s life.
And she’ll tick off many a wife.
(c) Lawrencealot – March 2, 2012
Visual Template


This is a form invented by a poet who writes as  chasingtheday on Allpoetry.com
It is 15 syllables per line and at the beginning of every new line
you rhyme with the last word of the previous line.
The first verse is seven lines,
the second verse is six lines
and third verse is five lines.  (18 lines)
The rhyme for the whole poem is end line rhyme –
Rhyme Scheme: abcabccdefdefghigg
may be perfect rhyme, slant rhyme, or assonance rhyme, or sight rhyme
Each new line beginning must be the same rhyme as the
end line rhyme of the line before it.
The following template may help.  Interpret the rhyme column (a)b as meaning the
first word uses the a-rhyme, the end-word uses the b-rhyme.
Example Poem
Calls for Careful Constant Cogitation   (Melodic)
This form requires lines fifteen syllables long, an internal
Infernal rhyme that’s tough, because adjoining words must rhyme, hence
sense must accrue quickly to pairs that seem spaced so far apart.
Start with a new sentence when you need a break,  an external
nocturnal stimulant, like caffeine or nicotine dispensed
condensed into a pot or a pack may elevate your heart
chart and move your muse.  Or kill you like sex, food, or exercise.
Surprise surreptitiously surfaces when stringing sev’ral
caesural sounds sequentially but may lend a lift and lilt.
Tilt your lance and charge capriciously calling for less control.
Enroll enchanting images of white winged fairies with all
enthralled by fluttering and dancing as if on flower quilt.
Stilt your language if antiquities you’re planning to enroll.
Droll wit can be levered when you have so many words, but wit
lit out from me this week.  I hoped muse and I could together
gather something credible, (not aiming for incredible)–
bull can only be shoveled just so deep.  But muse chose to sit
it out, and left me all alone.  Thus this time will be no hit.
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The Paradelle is a modern poetic form invented by Billy Collins as a parody of the villanelle. Billy Collins claimed that the paradelle was a difficult, fixed form consisting of four six-line stanzas with a repetitive pattern invented in eleventh century France, and the press believed the story and ran with it.  Due to the extensive publicity, the Paradelle has made its rounds in the poetic community.  Even though the form was invented as a hoax, the Paradelle has taken on a life of its own.  It is still a difficult form, nonetheless, to practice which can be fun and
rewarding even though the inventor may not have intended it to be.
The Paradell Structure
First Three Stanzas:
The first two lines as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas must be the same
(repeat).  Where it begins to get difficult and become more of a poetic puzzle is when reaching
fifth and sixth lines.  These lines must contain all the words from the preceding four lines within
the stanza using them only once to form completely new lines.
Last Stanza:
For the most difficult piece of this poetic puzzle, the final stanza of the paradelle does not repeat like
the preceding stanzas, rather the final six lines must contain every word from the first three stanzas,
and only those words, again using them only once to form completely new lines.
The Design is simple:
Stanza 1: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4
Stanza 2: 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8
Stanza 3: 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 12
Stanza 4: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
Where the numbers merely indicate lines of verse, of any line-length.
Example Poem
A Paradelle with Ending Rhyme
When looking, a perfect calm descends
When looking, a perfect calm descends
You create a meaningful view with Paradelle tools.
You create a meaningful view with Paradelle tools.
A perfect calm descends looking, when you
create a meaningful view with Paradelle tools.
Upon  using the  form and  by watching fools
Upon  using the  form and  by watching fools
you made a sounding, as start .
you made a sounding, as start .
Upon  using the  form and  by watching fools
you made a sounding, as start.
That  as poetry
That  as poetry
ends quite  well.
ends quite  well.
That  as poetry
ends quite  well.
A perfect calm descends  upon  you
When you create a meaningful view
using the  form  by watching fools
looking, and  sounding,  as made with tools.
That  start as Paradelle
poetry ends quite  well.
© Lawrencealot – April 27, 2012


The Tri-fall, created by Jan Turner,                                         
consists three 6-line stanzas, for a total of 18 lines.                         
Rhyme Scheme: abcabc                                        
Line-length  for each stanza is as follows: 6/3/8/6/3/8.          
Meter optional
This form requires little to no punctuation and can be written on any subject matter.     
Example Poem
Her passion was too much.
Now it’s gone.
She condemned, deplored all abuse.
She praised the thrill of touch.
We’ll bear on.
The jealous piled on, no excuse.
Her life was filled with hurt.
despite that,
or because of it, she performed
as an erotic flirt.
When at-bat
she homered passion unreformed.
Some men became aroused,
not content
to live within her fantasies,
and when requests were doused
time was spent
in fighting her apostasies.
© Lawrencealot – Aug 23, 2012    
Written about a very real AP Poet.
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