Burtenelle

I found a few invented forms which appear to be exclusive to The Study and Writing of Poetry; American Women Poets Discuss Their Craft, 1983. The book is a collection of essays from 50 American women poets, each essay provides insights into a multitude of topics from poetic genres, stanzaic forms, to writing techniques. This book provided some addition insights and background information on several stanzaic forms that I thought I had researched fully. I liked this book, it pays attention to the details.

• The Burtonelle is a style of writing more than a form. At first glance I thought this the same as a Cleave or Trigee but this technique produces only one poem not three in one as those forms do. It was introduced by poet, novelist and educator, Wilma W Burton who takes credit only for labeling the technique and writing a poem a day in this style in the Bicentennial year 1976. Her discipline of writing a poem a day in a bound journal has continued well over 20 years and is an exercise she recommends for all aspiring poets.

The Burtonelle is a poem written in two sections side by side with caesura in the form of a uniform space between the two columns or sides. Punctuation, caps and meter are at the poet’s discretion.
First Steps by Judi Van Gorder

In zombie stance          one foot out 
slightly on tip toes        and another one
teeth sparkling              he hovers then steps
slowly another               unsteadily another
His tiny white                in grin of determination.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=2008#anna

My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO
resource.

 

My example

Take Monday Off (Burtenelle)

“You can take Monday off –           if you can answer right.”
The teacher told the class.            “How many stars are there?”
No one could answer that.            “Man did that question bite?”
our little Johnny said,                    “That question wasn’t fair.”
Next week the teacher asked,      “How many grains of sand
are on our lovely beach?”              Nobody had a clue.
Our Johnny went to work-            he figured out a plan.
He painted Ping-Pong balls.         She’d ask something he knew.
The question for this week-          but Jonny spilled the balls
disrupting the classroom              (with giggles all around).
“Allright the teacher said,            “I want to know just who’s
The comic with black balls?”       So Johnny quickly found
his feet and said “That’s Bill        Cosby, and I’m excused.”

© Lawrencealot – August 23, 2014