The Fatras, fatrasie, fratrasie, resverie, could be described as the ravings of a happy lunatic. The verse is joyously irrational with no clear direction and yet it has a unique defined structure. Originating in Europe in the Middle Ages it is upbeat, “full of wordplay, ridiculous associations, and intentional nonsense.” NPEOPP.

The Fatras is:
• a poem in 11 lines.
• composed in a way that the 1st and last lines form a distich, a poem in 2 lines, that holds the entire theme of the larger poem. This is known as the fatras simple.
• unmetered.
• unrhymed.
• written with clever wordplay and disconnected nonsense which set the tone.
• The fatras possible allows for some coherent text, the fatras impossible make no sense at all.
• a fatras double when 2 eleven line stanzas are formed, with the lines of the distich reversed in the 2nd stanza. The last line is a restatement of L1 of the poem

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=679#fatras
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

Nothing’s in Something’s Way (Form: Fatras – simple)

If nothing takes up all the space then where will
something go? There’s nothing here, there’s nothing there,
So where’d I put my underwear? My closet’s full
of nothing, as is my chest-of-drawers. I want
a twirling thing-a-ma-whack that hoots and runs
around a track, my underwear I’d also
like. Grandpa’s teeth now share a glass with water
from the sink so he can drink while he can’t chew,
and still i have no clue about where I might
find that underwear of mine. I wonder how
things can be found when nothing’s already there.

© Lawrencealot -December 17, 2014

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