Octain Refrain

The Octain Refrain is a form invented by Luke Prater.  Learn more about Luke by visiting his blog at  www.lukeprater.com.
It comprises eight lines as TWO TERCETS and a COUPLET, either as octosyllables (counting eight syllables per line), or as iambic tetrameter, whichever is preferable. Trochaic tetrameter also acceptable. The latter yields a more propulsive rhythm, as opposed to iambs, which tend to lilt.
As the name suggests, the first line is a refrain, repeated as the last (some variation of refrain acceptable). Rhyme-scheme as follows –
Abb a(c/c)a bA
A = refrain line. c/c refers to line five having midline (internal) rhyme, which is different from the a- and b-rhymes. The midline rhyme does not have to fall exactly in the middle of the line, in fact it can be more effective and subtle, depending on context, to have it fall earlier or later.
Alternative layout/stanza-structure: TWO SINGLE LINES and TWO TERCETS
Refrain lines on their own, with the middle six as two tercets –
A bba (c/c)ab A
The High Octain is simply a double Octain, but as one poem – the refrains are the same, a- and b- rhymes are the same, but actual words are different, and the c/c line with the internal rhyme can optionally be rhymed in the second instance. There is no restriction on the level of repetition, but in most cases the stipulated refrain A is enough; this may even feel too repetitive and need varying. As a general guideline, changing up to four syllables of the eight still retains enough to feel like the refrain. The end word must remain the same.
The structure of the High Octain is one single after another with a break in between; alternatively, it can be written as two blocks of eight lines:
A-b-b-a-c/c-a-b-A [or d/d instead of c/c]  (I’ m sorry, but a d-rhyme without a c-rhyme makes no sense!)
It is also possible to write a piece consisting of a string of single Octains (the rhymes of which would not usually correspond).
Example Poems
Octane Refrain     (Octain)
My muscle  car needs high-octane. 
If jerk at pump should pump low test 
He’ll have a broken nose at best. 
From low octane I must refrain. 
It’s racing fuel to race you fool. 
but high-octane I must explain. 
That’s par for cars that run the best. 
My muscle  car needs high-octane. 
© Lawrencealot – June 19, 2012
Showers Wash the Stars  (Octain)
Springtime showers bringing rainbows 
Brightest sharpest color forming 
Glassine crystals grasslands warming 
Steam now rising; morning rain goes. 
Cleaned pavilion shines cerulean
promised now where stars refrain goes
Superb nighttime twinkle swarming.
Springtime showers bringing rainbows. 
New Year’s Eve     (High Octain)
When we were young we joined the crowd 
To walk the street in freezing cold, 
to greet the new; kick  out the old. 
To hear the fireworks booming loud, 
and watch their flight into the night, 
their light reflecting off a cloud. 
We’d be there when the bells were tolled. 
When we were young we joined the crowd. 
When we were young we joined the crowd 
on blocked off streets that were patrolled 
by cops on horses quite controlled. 
But now we’re older we’ve avowed 
to stay and see it on TV, 
that’s even if the streets are plowed. 
We have each other we can hold. 
When we were young we joined the crowd. 
   © Lawrencealot – December 30, 2012
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Note: In both cases the final four syllable will suffice for the refrain if the poet so desires.

Ottava Rima

A Ottava Rima is a poem written in 8-line octaves.
Each line is of a 10 or 11 syllable count in
the following rhyme:
one octave poem. abababcc
two octave poem. abababcc, dededeff
three octave poem. abababcc, dededeff, ghghghii
…so on and so on
Example Poem
Hereafter What?
Amazing homeostasis defies
entropy, seemingly with thoughtful change.
Through positive and negative replies
to stimuli it locks into a range.
A cell no more thinks than a piglet flies.
Ours try for constant Ph to arrange.
Each does its stupendous job then it dies.
With no need to fret where its future lies.
All instructions are D.N.A.  coded,
as is their time to “die”, then they’re replaced-
or not.  A mountain grows then’s eroded,
while vapor turns to water being chased
through mountains cracks; more rocks are exploded,
Sometimes this cycle seems to be a waste.
Yet, waste or not it will play to the end.
That sir, is how my life will work, my friend.
Man’s invented God since men could converse,
for death was never obscure- purpose was!
For most all, life was hard and they feared worse.
Hence gods were wrought to whom to plead their cause.
I’ve actualized myself though time  is terse.
I’ve lived, live yet, and require no applause.
Life’s tiller needs no Maker’s mighty hand.
His role fulfilled with big bang, on demand.
Those faith imbued may feel for me as I
so feel for them, saddened they’re not complete.
“They’re in a better place” will comfort my
peers – not I.  “They” must mean souls, not discrete
tokens.  Those souls pre- and post- life rely
on no puppet master, on no hymn sheet.
If soul there be then soul there is right now,
and will be then continuing, somehow.
(c) Lawrencealot – May 28, 2012
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Paulo Ludibrium Comitatu

Paulo Ludibrium Comitatu (Little Toy Train), created by Lawrencealot
      Patterned after the Paulo Comitatu.
The form consists of one or more octaves where the 1st and 5th lines
are Iambic Trimeter with and extra unaccented syllable
da DUM  da DUM  da DUM da (Technically two iambs and an amphibrach)
The remaining lines are proper Iambic Trimeter
Rhyme Pattern: xaba xcbc
Example Poem
Waiting for Her Backwoods Pilot
She sat there by the window
and watched the falling rain.
Her mind went to the past
she hummed a sweet refrain.
He traveled through the forest
with cautious stealth and dread.
Alone and failing fast,
he’d crashed and should be dead.
(c) Lawrencealot November  11, 2012
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Swap Ottava

Created by Discoveria of Allpoetry.com.

The form has an Ottava Rima framework in which the sections of the first line are swapped to become the last line of the stanza.
A Double Swap Ottava
requires that technique to be applied to two of the early lines, normally Line 1 and 2, to become the closing couplet of the octet.
Minimum length 8 Lines, no maximum
Meter: Iambic pentameter
Rhyme: ababaabcc
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Example Poem:

Synchonicty   (Swap Ottava)
A random meet- a gift of God’s great plan.
She stepped into the bus I seldom take. 
I looked at her is how it all began. 
I found her cute, I was not on the make. 
My glance became a stare as a glance can. 
Our eyes met, then moved on for manner’s sake. 
She looked again ,and smiled; the smile was sweet.
A gift of God’s great plan– a random meet.
It is likely by chance: meeting a mate. 
This woman’s smile was brief, beguiling,  true. 
Not just her lips, but her eyes were more bait. 
I’d hoped that my face invited her too. 
My shyness abated… let me test fate. 
There may be no chance if I now eschew 
risking rejection.  I’ll ask her to dance. 
Meeting a mate: it is likely by chance.
One out of three: seems like the odds are fine 
This lady gave me her number and said, 
“I think I’d like that, but first let us dine”. 
A note for ladies… you take charge instead. 
Meet where you can leave if  things misalign. 
‘Cause likely, like me, guys want you in bed.
Results run the gamut, but try, be free. 
Seems like the odds are fine: one out of three. 

(c) Lawrencealot – April, 2012

Example of Double Swap Ottava

Social Schism  (Double Swap Ottava)

Some do less, some do more to help the whole. 

all members knew the score when tribes were small. 
Great hunters, all the members would extoll. 
Their prowess was a benefit for all. 
The tribes were healthy when each played their role, 
Our tribe will fail if no one heeds that call. 
When tribes were small all members knew the score. 
To help the whole,  some do less, some do more. 

© Lawrencealot – January 2, 2013 

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