Week Forty-Two: English Madrigal

The English Madrigal is one of many varieties of the Italian madrigal, an early lyric form that began as a pastoral song. Medieval author and poet Geoffrey Chaucer (The Cantebury Tales) defined the rules of the madrigal in English, which include a number of formal requirements, including meter, end rhyme, and several repeated refrains. Some of the best-regarded English language madrigals are those of Scottish poet William Drummond, who wrote eighty madrigals in his collection Poems (1616).

Key Features of the English Madrigal

Content: Often includes a theme of love

Form: A thirteen-line form in three stanzas:
Stanza 1] Three lines
Stanza 2] Four lines
Stanza 3] Six lines

Rhyme and Refrain: See example below

Meter: Often written in iambic pentameter

Example

An English Madrigal, by author

[L1] A (refrain 1)
[L2] B1 (refrain 2)
[L3] B2 (refrain 3)

[L4] a
[L5] b
[L6] A (refrain 1)
[L7] B1 (refrain 2)

[L8] a
[L9] b
[L10] b
[L11] A (refrain 1)
[L12] B1 (refrain 2)
[L13] B2 (refrain 3)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An Original English Madrigal

Staying

For now, we are content to stay inside.
The troubles of the world will wax and wane,
But as each season ends, our love remains.

Sometimes the storms of early May will hide
the sun and send a sudden rush of rain.
For now, we are content to stay inside.
The troubles of the world will wax and wane.

Although we’ve had to set some plans aside,
The garden will be waiting and will gain
As all of life will strengthen by our pains.
For now, we are content to stay inside.
The troubles of the world will wax and wane,
But as each season ends, our love remains.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Madrigal – Writer’s Digest
Madrigal (Poetry) – Wikipedia
English Madrigal – Poet’s Collective

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Come back every Friday for a new form!

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

Write your own English Madrigal and share in the comments!

Week Forty-One: The Kimo

The Hebrew Haiku

The Kimo is yet another variation on the Haiku which focuses on imagery and strict syllable count. Israeli poets adjusted the syllabic requirements of that traditional Japanese form to accommodate for the unique characteristics of the Hebrew language.

Key Features of the Kimo

Content: like haiku, usually image-specific and acts as a still life, or snapshot, of a single moment

Form: made up of a single stanza of three lines

Syllable Count:
[Line 1] 10 syllables
[Line 2] 7 syllables
[Line 3] 6 syllables

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An Original Kimo

at my desk

beside a leaning stack of old notebooks
one hand rests on empty page
one on warm coffee mug

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Kimo – Writer’s Digest
Kimo – Poet’s Collective
Kimo Poems – Poetry Soup

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Come back every Friday for a new form!

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

Write your own Kimo and share in the comments!

Week Forty: The Cascade

Creating the Cascade 

The Cascade is a modern stanzaic form invented by poet Udit Bhatia. In the cascade, each line of the first stanza is repeated later in the poem.

Key Features of the Cascade


Form: each line in the first stanza is repeated as the final line of each of the following stanzas

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An Original Cascade

Wait and See

If we take it day by day,
We’ll see how it goes.
Tomorrow may bring something new.

Despite the walls placed in our way,
We’ll find the room to grow
If we take it day by day.

The gods of old have gone, and so
We last remaining faithless few
Wait and see how it goes.

The April sky is still sometimes blue;
It’s not always this cloudy grey.
Tomorrow may bring something new.


A Note on My Original Cascade

While rhyme is not a formal requirement of the cascade, I’ve added a rhyme scheme of my own invention to add to the challenge.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Cascade Poem – Writer’s Digest
Cascade – Shadow Poetry
Write a Cascade – All Poetry

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Come back every Friday for a new form!

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

Write your own Cascade 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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-Seven: Tricube

Trying Out the Tricube

Three is the magic number when it comes to the Tricube, a newer form of unknown origin. 

Key Features of the Tricube Poem

Syllables: 3 syllables per line

Lines: 3 lines per stanzas

Stanzas: 3 stanzas per tricube

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An Original Tricube

the world is still alive

the world is
still alive
the spring song

chee-dee-dee
of the young
chickadee

the tulip’s
blades like green
flames rising

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Tricubes – Writer’s Digest
Tricubes – Power Poetry

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Come back every Friday for a new form!

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

Write your own tricube poem and share in the comments!

Week Thirty-Five: Shadorma

Shadorma

Though it is said to be a popular exercise in modern poetry workshops and classes, there’s not a lot of information to be found on this variation of the haiku, which consists of any number of sestets with a strict syllable count. It is rumored to be of Spanish origin, but even that claim is hard to substantiate. Of course, none of this detracts from the enjoyment in writing the shadorma, especially once you get locked into the rhythm and flow of its short lines.

Key Features of the Shadorma

Syllable Count: 3/5/3/3/7/5
Form: Any number of six-line stanzas (sestets)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An Original Shadorma

Little Goldfish

you can’t swim
your way out of this
bowl little
goldfish and
you can’t learn to breathe this strange
unnatural air

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Shadorma – Writer’s Digest
Shadorma – Wikipedia
Shadorma – Poet’s Collective

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Come back every Friday for a new form!

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

Write your own Shadorma 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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: Katauta

Meet the Katauta

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?

~

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

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

~

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!

Week Thirty: Terza Rima

Meet the Terza Rima

The Terza Rima is a type of verse stanza invented by Italian poet Dante Alghieri and is used in his epic masterwork, The Divine Comedy. Terza rima poems are always written in tercets with an interlinking rhyme scheme unique to the form. In English, the terza rima may be incorporated into other well-known forms, such as the sonnet (see example below).

Key Features of The Terza Rima

Form: Written in any number of tercets, but you’ll probably want at least three to establish the rhyme scheme.


Rhyme: Features a terza rima rhyme scheme (sometimes called a chain rhyme) of aba-bcb-cdc, etc.

Example Poem

Below is an example of a terza rima sonnet

Ode to the West Wind
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1795-1825)

First Movement
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-striken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!

An Original Terza Rima Poem

A Galaxy Newly Born

Nascent love is like a galaxy newly born,
Its elements simple and lighter than air.
But in darkness, its stars yet unformed.

From its center it is an experience as rare,
As clear as desire unclouded by dust,
But from a distance—a dim blue glare.

Heavier elements—security and trust—
Require a ritual, a sacrifice of stars.
Much later will come the planet’s crust.

~

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Terza Rima – Poets.org
Terza Rima – Wikipedia
Dante Alighieri – Wikipedia
Sonnet Examples – Poetry through the Ages

~

Come back every Friday for a new form!

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

Write your own terza rima and—
share in the comments!

Week Twenty-Nine: The Golden Shovel

Picking Up the Golden Shovel

The Golden Shovel borrows a line (or sometimes many lines) from an existing poem by another poet and uses each word from the existing line(s) as the end word for each line of a new, original poem. This is a great way to give a shout-out to a poet you admire, so always be sure to give credit to the original author!

An Original Golden Shovel

These I Will Keep

after Robert Frost

I’ve always eyed the
path leading into the woods
with curiosity and wonder. Are
the oaks there as lovely,
are the shadows as dark,
as I’ve imagined? And
are the solitudes as deep?

The temptation lingers, but
after everything I
have lost, all I have
left are the promises
I have made to
myself. These I will keep.

~

Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
The Golden Shovel by Terrance Hayes

The Golden Shovel – Poetry Foundation
Golden Shovel – Writer’s Digest

~

Come back every Friday for a new form!

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

Write your own golden shovel and—
share in the comments!