Mistress Bradstreet Stanza

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza is a stanzaic verse attributed to American poet John Berryman (1914-1972) patterned after the frame of his 57 stanza poem Homage to Mistress Bradstreet which he said was developed after a life time of studying Yeats.

The Mistress Bradstreet Stanza is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of octaves.
• accentual verse, composed with 5-5-3-4-5-5-3-6 stresses per line.
• rhymed, rhyme scheme abcbddba, the a and d rhymes are a constant although occasionally the rhyme changes to abcbddca. 

Homage to Mistress Bradstreet by John Berryman (1st 3 stanzas) 

The Governor your husband lived so long
moved you not, restless, waiting for him? Still,
you were a patient woman.—
I seem to see you pause here still:
Sylvester, Quarles, in moments odd you pored
before a fire at, bright eyes on the Lord,
all the children still.
‘Simon …’ Simon will listen while you read a Song.

[2] Outside the New World winters in grand dark
white air lashing high thro’ the virgin stands
foxes down foxholes sigh,
surely the English heart quails, stunned.
I doubt if Simon than this blast, that sea,
spares from his rigour for your poetry
more. We are on each other’s hands
who care. Both of our worlds unhanded us. Lie stark,

[3] thy eyes look to me mild. Out of maize & air
your body’s made, and moves. I summon, see,
from the centuries it.
I think you won’t stay. How do we
linger, diminished, in our lovers’ air,
implausibly visible, to whom, a year,
years, over interims; or not;
to a long stranger; or not; shimmer & disappear.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1885
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

Tarnish (Form: Mistress Bradstreet Stanza)

In retrospect will history decide
that Hillary achieved her life-time goal
ascending to a stage
where she could play a noted role?
What cost, ignoring Clinton’s frequent trysts?
(His charm and force few maidens could resist.)
She wore the martyr role,
and seemed to benefit by standing by his side.

His faults his party clearly could abide
and character was deemed a price too high.
Hillary could not be blamed.
Yet global standards must apply.
She’ll likely never rise to stand a midst
the Goldas and the Thatchers who were kissed
with conviction noted and untamed.
Most likely a nod to greatness will be denied.

© Lawrencealot – December 29, 2014

Visual template

Mistress Bradstreet  Stanza