The Trench

The Trench is an invented stanzaic form patterned after 20th century, Irish poet,Herbert Trench’s A Charge, Ode From Italy in a Time of War. Trench was known for his love poems.

The Trench is:
○ stanzaic, may be written in any number of cinquains.
○ metered, L1, L2, L4 pentameter, L3 dimeter, L5 trimeter.
○ rhymed axbab, cxdcd etc… x being unrhymed

A Charge, Ode From Italy in a Time of War by Herbert Trench 1915
If thou hast squander’d years to grave a gem
Commission’d by thy absent Lord, and while
‘Tis incomplete,
Others would bribe thy needy skill to them
Dismiss them to the street!
Should’st thou at last discover Beauty’s grove,
At last be panting on the fragrant verge,
But in the track,
Drunk with divine possession, thou meet Love
Turn at her bidding back.
When round thy ship in tempest Hell appears,
And every spectre mutters up more dire
To snatch control
And loose to madness thy deep-kennell’d Fears
Then to the helm, O Soul!
Last; if upon the cold green-mantling sea
Thou cling, alone with Truth, to the last spar,
Both castaway,
And one must perish let it not be he
Whom thou art sworn to obey!
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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work creating the fine PMO resource.
My example poem:

Hey, Back Off (The Trench)

I’ve too much to do to, which I postponed,
so Death delay your most relentless walk.
You hold no fear
I’ve done no deed that must be now atoned
so let me finish here.

Just hold you scythe at port my long-robed friend.
Methusalean spans I don’t require,
but take your time.
I have more verbiage that I must append
regarding mete and rhyme.

Unlike old Sisyphus I don’t repeat
yet my appointed task can never end.
I started late
and though the task can never be complete
it may be up to date.

That goal’s attainable if you but wait.
But should you rush and cross my final T’s
it’s still okay.
It’s my own fault for starting much too late
It’s started anyway.

© Lawrencealot – August 1, 2014
Visual Template
The Trench

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