Week Thirty-Nine: The Limerick

~It’s National Poetry Month!~

 

There Once was a Poet in Limerick…

No one knows who invented the Limerick, but the name suggests it originated in the Irish city of the same name. English poet Edward Lear popularized the form in the 19th century and is largely responsible for the form’s continued popularity. Limericks are sometimes nonsensical, sometimes set up like jokes with a punchline, and should always inspire a chuckle.

Key Features of the Limerick

Content: Humorous, sometimes raunchy, sometimes aimed at a celebrity or public figure

Form: Consists of five lines

Rhyme: aabba

Syllables: Syllables are not usually strictly counted, but line length pattern goes: long, long, short, short, long.

Example

There was an Old Man with a Beard
by EDWARD LEAR

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!—
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard.

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An Original Limerick

Old Eugene

There once was a fool named Old Eugene
Who wouldn’t stay home for the quarantine.
He said “Damn you all,
I’m going to the mall.
I’m almost out of my Ovaltine!”

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Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Limericks – Writer’s Digest
Limerick – Wikipedia

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Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Limerick and share in the comments!

Week Thirty-Eight: Ae Freislighe

Meet the Ae Freislighe

The Ae Freislighe (pronounced ‘ay fresh-lee’) is a Celtic form which you’ll find somewhat adapted in English. These adaptations still strive to match the musicality of the original language by including complex patterns of rhyme and alliteration.

Key Features of the Ae Freislighe

Content: Traditionally contains internal patterns of alliteration to create a musical effect

Form: Made up of any number of quatrains

Rhyme: Features a triple-rhyme in lines 1 and 3, and a double-rhyme in lines 2 and 4 (see example)

Syllables: Seven syllables per line

Ending: Usually ends with the same word or line with which the poem begins (in Celtic poetry, this is called a dunadh)

Example

Tennessee, by Robert Lee Brewer

Do you recall Tennessee
& all that late night kissing,
or is it a memory
once yours that’s now gone missing?

Perhaps there’s some video
for both of us to review
& retire to Ohio
with vows that we will renew.

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An Original Poem

A Cutting

To find the life underneath
Sometimes it takes a cutting
A folding back of the sheath
To see the green life budding

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Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Celtic Poetry – Poet’s Garret
Ae Freislighe – Writer’s Digest
LOTR Ae Freislighe – LOTR Scrapbook
Ae Freislighe Pressed – Yeahwrite.me

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Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Ae Freislighe and share in the comments!

Week Thirty-Six: Pantoum

Meet the Pantoum

We learned in our explorations of the Kyrielle [Week 13], Villanelle [Week 23] and Terzanelle [Week 32] that the French love their repeating refrains. But the Pantoum is a French adaptation of a form that is Malaysian in origin.

Key Features of the Pantoum Poem

Form: composed of any number of quatrains

Refrain: The second and fourth lines of one stanza repeat as the first and third lines of the next. Some variation is allowed to add interest.

Rhyme: abab rhyme scheme

Example Pantoum

Another Lullaby for Insomniacs

by A. E. STALLING

Sleep, she will not linger:
She turns her moon-cold shoulder.
With no ring on her finger,
You cannot hope to hold her.

She turns her moon-cold shoulder
And tosses off the cover.
You cannot hope to hold her:
She has another lover.

She tosses off the cover
And lays the darkness bare.
She has another lover.
Her heart is otherwhere.

She lays the darkness bare.
You slowly realize
Her heart is otherwhere.
There’s distance in her eyes.

You slowly realize
That she will never linger,
With distance in her eyes
And no ring on her finger.

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An Original Pantoum

Coronavirus Blues

I woke up this mornin’
And I turned on the news.
Newsman called out a warnin’.
Now I’ve got the coronavirus blues.

Yeah, I turned on the news
And what they said was nothin’ good.
Now I see the coronavirus blues
All around my neighborhood.

What they say is nothin’ good,
Except for those who lie.
All around my neighborhood
We don’t trust that lyin’ guy.

Yeah, we say to those who lie,
“Your judgment’s comin’ quick.
We don’t trust that lyin’ guy
He’s enough to make you sick.”

Their judgment’s comin’ quick,
Those liars on the news.
It’s enough to make you sick.
I’ve got the coronavirus blues.

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Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Pantoum – Writer’s Digest
Pantoum – Poetry Foundation
Pantoum – Wikipedia

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Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Pantoum and share in the comments!

Week Thirty-Four: Concrete Poem

Meet the Concrete

Of all the forms we’ve covered so far, the Concrete Poem is unique in its emphasis on the physical form—the actual shape of the words—along with the meaning. Poetry meets typography meets graphic design in this experimental, visually inventive form.

An Original Concrete Poem

Description: Image one reads in black text, “I carry this would like a weapon.” Text of image one is shaped like a sword or dagger. Image two reads in red text, “I am invincible in my pain.” Text of image two is shaped like a shield.

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Concrete Poems – Writer’s Digest
Concrete Poetry – Wikipedia
Concrete Poetry – Poetry Foundation

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Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own concrete poem and
share in the comments!

Week Thirty-Three: Anagrammatic Poem

Anagram-arama!

Jumblers and scrabblers are well-versed in the art of the anagram, a technique that uses the shuffling of a given selection of letters to find new words. Anagrams can be a lot of fun, so it’s no surprise they are used in many popular word games and puzzles.

Key Features of the Anagrammatic Poem

Content: Always titled, and only letters featured in the title can be used

Form: The anagrammatic method can be combined with existing poetic forms (such as the haiku, sonnet, etc.) or used to create new ones.

Example

Anagrammatic [a hay(na)ku]

Ma’am,
I am
An anagrammatic man.

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An Original Poem

February [a hay(na)ku]

brrr
buy beer
rub furry bear

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Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Anagrammatic Poetry – Writer’s Digest
Anagrammatic Poetry – Wikipedia
Anagram – Poetry Foundation

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Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own anagrammatic poem and share in the comments!

Week Thirty-Two: Terzanelle

Meet the Terzanelle

Having already covered the terza rima (week 30) and the villanelle (week 23),  now is a great time to introduce the Terzanelle, which is a kind of mash-up of those two very popular Italian forms. 

Key Features

Form: same as villanelle; features a total of nineteen lines, consisting of five tercets concluding in a quatrain

Rhyme: follows the terza rima’s interlocking rhyme scheme (aba-bcb-cdc, etc)

Content: features the villanelle’s repeating refrains

Meter: traditionally iambic pentameter, but modern standards are more relaxed


*For additional help getting started with this somewhat complicated form, check out the links below in the Want to Learn More section.*

Example Poem

Terzanelle in Thunderweather
Lewis Turco

This is the moment when shadows gather
under the elms, the cornices and eaves.
This is the center of thunderweather.

The birds are quiet among these white leaves
where wind stutters, starts, then moves steadily
under the elms, the cornices, and eaves–

these are our voices speaking guardedly
about the sky, of the sheets of lightning
where wind stutters, starts, then moves steadily

into our lungs, across our lips, tightening
our throats. Our eyes are speaking in the dark
about the sky, of the sheets of lightening

that illuminate moments. In the stark
shades we inhibit, there are no words for
our throats. Our eyes are speaking in the dark

of things we cannot say, cannot ignore.
This is the moment when shadows gather,
shades we inhibit. There are no words, for
this is the center of thunderweather.

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An Original Terzanelle

Terzanelle by Adam Astra

Even now, there’s some ink left in this pen;
As long as I can find an empty page,
It’s never too late to begin again.

It still feels like I’m naked on a stage
When I undress all these old doubts and dreams.
As long as I can find an empty page,

I can return to the source—that wild stream.
Years spent swimming through stacks of old notebooks
Where I undress all these old doubts and dreams.

I’ve cast out many lines without a hook,
And well, I don’t have time to dwell on my
Years spent swimming through stacks of old notebooks,

Wondering where I’ve lost the time and why.
It’s been a long journey, but now I know
Too well. I don’t have time to dwell on my

Regrets, but I’ve got time to let them go.
Even now, there’s some ink left in this pen.
It’s been a long journey, but now I know
It’s never too late to begin again.

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Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Terzanelle – Wikipedia
Terzanelle – Writer’s Digest
Terzanelle – Shadow Poetry

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Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own terzanelle and—
share in the comments!

Week Thirty-One: Katuata

Meet the Katuata

The Katauta is a short romantic poem addressed to a lover and is similar to other Japanese forms such as the haiku, somonka, and sedoka. A katauta asks a question, but since the question remains unanswered, it’s sometimes considered more of a half-poem.

Key Features

Form: A short three-line poem, typically untitled
Content: Addressed to a lover and asks a question
Syllable Count: usually 5-7-7, but sometimes 5-7-5

Example Poem

Untitled Katauta, by Robert Lee Brewer

why do winter stars
shine brighter than summer stars
as if they are shards of glass?

An Original Katauta

my love, will we rise
up against this wave of hate,
or will we stay here in bed?

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Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Katuata – Writer’s Digest
Japanese Poetry Forms – The Poet’s Garret
Katauta – Poets Collective

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Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own katauta and—
share in the comments!