Experimental Poetry Form: Two parts

Today’s experimental poetry form has some math behind it.  If any readers don’t like math, that is okay, the form is presented first with an explanation, but without any math.  Just look at that part to use the form, and don’t worry about the rest.  If any readers do like a little math, then read past that part to see how the form was developed.

Here is the form:

Iambic line with four feet
Iambic line with four feet
Iambic line with four feet

Trochaic line with three feet
Trochaic line with three feet
Trochaic line with three feet
Trochaic line with three feet
Trochaic line with three feet
Trochaic line with three feet
Trochaic line with three feet
Trochaic line with three feet

    A four word line with no meter

 

Iambic line with two feet
Iambic line with two feet
Iambic line with two feet
Iambic line with two feet

(Trochaic line with three feet)
(Trochaic line with three feet)
(Trochaic line with three feet)
(Trochaic line with three feet)
(Trochaic line with three feet)
(Trochaic line with three feet)
(Trochaic line with three feet)
(Trochaic line with three feet)

    A sixteen word line with no meter

 

The form has a total of six stanzas.  Those stanzas are in two parts (this is where the name of the form comes from).  The first part has three stanzas, there is a space, and then there is the second part with three stanzas.

In the first part, the first stanza has three lines written in iambic meter, each with four feet.  The second stanza has eight lines written in trochaic meter, each with three feet.  The third stanza is indented four spaces, and has four words, but without any meter.

The second part, is just like the first part in terms of form, except that each iambic line only has two feet, each of the eight trochaic lines are in parenthesis and the last stanza has sixteen words instead of four.

The first and second parts should go together, but each should also be self-contained.

The idea of the form is to use all of the elements (meter, number of feet, parenthesis, word count, indention and parts) to express an idea.  The point is to have two similar, yet different parts, come together to express an idea.  This could be done in a number of ways and with a number of variations.

 

Here is now the math part and an explanation of how the form was developed.

The form is based off of two equations.

The first equation is:

3x2 + 8y = 4

The second equation is:

4x – 8y = 16

(If any readers have studied mathematics, they know that using these two equations, the values of x and y can be determined.  Although it is not relevant to the poetry form, if any readers were wondering, the values are (2,-1) and (-10/3,-11/3)).

To make the form, an x line was defined to be an iambic line with two feet and a y line was defined to be a trochaic line with three feet.  This meant that an x2 line was an iambic line with four feet (22 = 4).  A line without an x or a y was defined to have no meter.  Subtracting a line, was defined to mean putting that line in parenthesis.

The form written out like the equations looks like:

3x2

8y

    4

 

4x

(8y)

    16

The indention of the 4 and 16 represents the = signs.

Writing things out, the form looks like:

x2
x2
x2

y
y
y
y
y
y
y
y

    4

x
x
x

(y)
(y)
(y)
(y)
(y)
(y)
(y)
(y)

    16

using the definitions above translates this into the form that was presented at the start of this post.

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