The Serious Prose and Poetry Thread

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The Serious Prose and Poetry Thread

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:07 pm

Let's run this up the flagpole and see if it flies :P

The Poetry Thread in the Drum's much more about sharing our own pieces and favourite poets works and not pulling things apart for purposes of analysing it to death and back... BUT some of us (and I'm not speaking for myself here necessarily :ugeek: ) like the discipline of the forms, strict or otherwise, and would like to give and receive feedback so this is the place where you can post stuff that you would like feedback on or to discuss critically, whether it's something you've written or by someone else and you want help 'appreciating' it perhaps?

With me so far? :lol: OK - I used to belong to a forum poetry 'team' who were given a brief to interpret a particular form to a set theme (it was on a Tolkien Forum so it was always Middle Earth inspired :roll: ) and to cut a long story short my team was totally stiffed by the judging panel in a contest which was given the Triquatrain form to play with. Now I don't want this to be about rules so I'm simply posting this to demonstrate the form and my team's interpretation of it and if you want you can tell me what you think of the decision that our first effort didn't comply with the form correctly... :angry-cussingwhite:

This is the sample poem in strict Triquatrain form (as reproduced from a reputable poetry form site) with the rhyming devices in bold and the syllable count for each line in brackets ;)

Oh God of mine, you’re so divine, - (4/4)
are you not here with me, (6)
with open arms, that heals not harms, (4/4)
the one I cannot see. (6)

I’ve lost my way, I have to say, (4/4)
that I have pain galore, (6)
for you to find, I’m way behind, (4/4)
and headed for the door. (6)

Like li’l Bo Peep, who lost her sheep, (4/4)
your flock just may not last, (6)
it’s no err to say, it’ll stay that way, (5/5)
you’d better do something fast. (7)

You said you’d come, that’s fine for some, (4/4)
but me I’m still not sure, (6)
the doctor’s can’t find, ‘cause they’re way behind, (5/5)
and they still don’t have a cure. (7)

So I will vow, and bid adieu for now, (4/6)
and climb into that big dark hole, (8)
for me to stay, not go away, (4/4)
you’d better come save this soul! (7)

Copyright © 2006 Robert L. Huntsman

Right so - 4 line stanzas, commencing alternate rhyming lines 1 & 3, internal rhyming (an inconsistent syllable count in places - but mostly 4, 4) and alternate lines 2 & 4 standard rhyming with an inconsistent syllable count - so mostly a 6 count there if you were feeling timid, but overall no perfect meter required.

So I write something along those lines that I think's pretty damned good and meets the criteria - I decide to keep to a 4, 4 format for lines 1 and 3 throughout anyway, but I still get to be expressive with the theme too (the Arkenstone) - always a bonus. Again the notation is mine and pre-posting of course...

Bright Arkenstone, by sight alone, (4, 4)
the fairest gem to grace this land. (8)
It’s beauty fair, it’s light so rare, (4, 4)
Held in a trem’bling dwarven hand. (8)

(pronunciation: trem'bling = 2 sylls)

Silver shim’ring, all a-glitt’ring, (4, 4)
dancing, glowing in the gleam, (7)
of warm fires’ light, chasing the night (4, 4)
from deep stone halls’ of lofty beam. (8)

(pronunciation: shim’ring = 2 sylls; a-glitt’ring = 3 sylls)

In daylight’s Sun, its glitter spun, (4, 4)
like twinkled sparks of light (6)
’pon water pure. Its bright allure (4, 4)
unrivalled, as the Bards recite. (8)

So glist’ning bright! Shimm’ring snow white, (4, 4)
facets aglint beneath the soft, dark, (9)
frosted velvet, high starry net. (4, 4)
Spangled - strewn ’cross the heavenly arc. (9)

(pronunciation: glist’ning; shimm’ring; both = 2 syllables;)

Wav’ring moonlit, reflections flit (4, 4)
over mirrored pools of rain, (7)
like pearly rings, shifting, shiv’ring (4, 4)
ripp'ling on a jewel without stain. (9)

(pronunciation: wav’ring; shiv’ring; both = 2 syllables)

A rainbow’s light, hailed Durin’s might (4, 4)
in a glorious refracted fountain. (10)
O Arkenstone, by high arts hone, (4, 4)
the jewel-smiths peerless Heart of the Mountain. (11)

So that's keeping to the internal rhyming scheme religiously but playing it loose with the meter in the 2nd & 4th lines and then the buggers went and started dictating about the structure of the form because some of the other teams had been getting their knickers in a twist about the internal rhyming... and all of sudden the meter-manic types started stressing about the assymetric meter in lines 2 and 4 too...

... so all of sudden we get a considered decision from the judges, despite the example Triquatrain, which clearly has assymetric meter for lines 2 & 4, that we now needed to keep the syllable count even throughout in those lines too. So we cancel the original submission and redo with a very even and ultra-conservative (4, 4); (6); (4, 4); (6) meter. :roll:

I won't bore you with the other one we did in response to the shifted rules 'cos it sucked and we didn't win, even though we were able to keep some of our original piece. :lol: We was robbed obviously but what do you all think - does the Triquatrain form have to have totally even stanzas?

And if you don't want to pick holes in that - please post something you would like to talk about... ;)
Last edited by Jan Van Quirm on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Re: The Serious Prose and Poetry Thread

Postby Tiffany » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:23 am

Quote.. does the Triquatrain form have to have totally even stanzas?

Well, I think Arkenstone works as it is, Jan & I have read it aloud several times. (My OH wondered why. :D)
Obviously some 'experts' did not agree.
On of the reasons I don't belong to 'serious' poetry forums. :D Though on one, now extinct, we asked & got improvement suggestions. We were all gutted when that plug was pulled.
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Re: The Serious Prose and Poetry Thread

Postby MongoGutman » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:49 am

You don't move the goalposts in the middle of a game. Their own examples they offered to begin with wouldn't have passed the strict rules they later imposed. You've got a valid case for feeling cheated.
Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? ~~ Oddball
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Re: The Serious Prose and Poetry Thread

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:23 am

One of the two head panellists got royally ditched not long after that for 'pushing her authority' too much :lol:

OK - no story as such, but this was what I thought was one of my better efforts on the same forum that had to stick to the Minute form, which is rhyming verse form consisting of 12 lines of 60 syllables written in strict iambic meter. The poem is formatted into 3 stanzas of 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4 syllables.

The rhyme scheme is as follows: aabb, ccdd, eeff - and the theme was the precious metal Mithril (wot Frodo's mail coat was made of and only found in Moria guarded by a Balrog... :twisted: ). We could do up to 3 Minute's worth so this is a 9 stanza poem

Mithril Blazing

Fire-wrapped I slept, in Shadow deep.
A rocky Keep
Around my dreams,
In Mithril seams.

My brothers lost, alone and cowed
I fled, pride bowed,
Though never lost -
Silvered in frost.

Enmeshed in silver, strong and true,
Ages past me blew
Like so much sand,
Swept from Angband.

* * *

Five thousand years, or more I dreamed
As Mithril screamed
In forges bright.
Such scorching light!

Awoken by their scratching tools,
Those puny fools
Disturbed my rest,
Defiled my nest.

They delved too deep, too greedy Dwarves
Past dingy wharves
And lesser ores,
Like reckless whores.

* * *

My heart of fire blazed strong and fast.
Hurricane blast.
True silver strong.
Fierce and long.

They fled my rage, in vain they ran
’Cross bridges span.
My shadowed heat
Relentless beat.

They robbed my depths, those foolish thieves!
Foul lives like leaves
Burned by my fire -
On Mithril pyre.
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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