Experimental Poetry Form: complex

Yesterday’s experimental poetry form was basic.  This one is complex.  It has a number of elements.  They include: stanzas, lines per stanza, rhyming pattern in each stanza, meter in each stanza, metrical feet in each line of each stanza, indentions of each line in each stanza, and acrostic pattern in each stanza.

Here are the details:

Stanzas: 4

Lines per stanza:

  Stanza one: 3

  Stanza two: 4

  Stanza three: 2

  Stanza four: 5

Rhyming pattern in each stanza:

  Stanza one: lines 1 and 3

  Stanza two: lines 3 and 4

  Stanza three: lines 1 and 2

  Stanza four: lines 1, 3, and 5

Meter in each stanza:

  Stanza one: iambic

  Stanza two: trochaic

  Stanza three: anapestic

  Stanza four: iambic

Metrical feet in each line of each stanza:

  Stanza one: 3

  Stanza two: 4

  Stanza three: 3

  Stanza four: 5

Indentions of each line in each stanza:

  Stanza one:

    Line 1: 0

    Line 2: 2

    Line 3: 4

  Stanza two:

    Line 1: 1

    Line 2: 3

    Line 3: 2

    Line 4: 4

  Stanza three:

    Line 1: 5

    Line 2: 5

  Stanza four:

    Line 1: 0

    Line 2: 2

    Line 3: 2

    Line 4: 1

    Line 5: 4

Acrostic pattern in each stanza:

  Stanza one: NOW

  Stanza two: LOOK

  Stanza three: AT

  Stanza four: WORDS

 

Below is what the form looks like.  The *s represent short syllables, the /s represent long syllables, the Rs followed by a letter (a, b, c, d) represent rhyming groups, and the letters at the end of lines show the acrostic pattern.

 

*/ */ */ Ra  N
  */ */ */  O
    */ */ */ Ra  W

 /* /* /* /*  L
   /* /* /* /*  O
  /* /* /* /* Rb  O
    /* /* /* /* Rb  K

     **/ **/ **/ Rc  A
     **/ **/ **/ Rc  T

*/ */ */ */ */ Rd  W
  */ */ */ */ */  O
  */ */ */ */ */ Rd  R
 */ */ */ */ */  D
    */ */ */ */ */ Rd  S

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Experimental Poetry Form: puzzle pieces

Today’s experimental poetry form is called puzzle pieces.  The form works in a way such that the first part can be combined with the second part.

The poem is written as two stanzas.  The first stanza has five lines, each with four words.  The second stanza has five lines, each with one word.

Each stanza may or may not make sense on their own, however, if they are combined properly, the resulting stanza would make sense. They can be combined in such a way that the words from stanza two could become the end words for stanza one, with each stanza two word combining with its corresponding line in stanza one.  This is an element of the form.

Here is how the form looks:

****[A]
****[B]
****[C]
****[D]
****[E]

A
B
C
D
E

 

The *’s represent words in the first stanza.  The bracketed letters in the first stanza are place holders for the corresponding words in the second stanza.  In using the form, the bracketed letters would be blank spaces.  The bracketed letters represent the spaces where the words from stanza two would fit if they were written in stanza one (although they are not written in stanza one for the use of the form).  Again, being able to fit these words into stanza one, is an element of the form.

The idea of the form is to show a poem in pieces.  It is similar to a puzzle in pieces.  The first stanza represents the part of the puzzle that is mostly completed, and the second stanza represents the remaining pieces.

The idea is that while each part may or may not make sense on its own, the reader should be able to see how they fit together.  This adds to the effect of the poem by engaging the reader.

To make the form easier to use, a poet could write a five line one stanza poem with five words per line, and then transform it to this form.  Below is an example which illustrates this, as well as the general use of the form.

Below is an example poem with one stanza, with five lines and five words per line.

The cat hid so quietly
as the dogs moved quickly
it watched the danger move
knowing that its presence unseen
in the shadows vanished away.

 

To apply the form, this poem is then broken into two stanzas as follows:

The cat hid so
as the dogs moved
it watched the danger
knowing that its presence
in the shadows vanished

quietly
quickly
move
unseen
away

 

This new poem follows the form.  As can be seen, the end words from each of the first five lines became lines of their own as a second stanza.  If the words were put back, the poem would make sense.

As can be seen in this example, the form can be used such that the two stanzas of the form, both separately and together, as well as the combined part that would normally not be written for the reader, can each make sense.  Having the separate stanzas make sense each alone, as well as if read together, can be more difficult than simply writing the combined poem and then breaking it up without regard for how it reads in pieces, but if done, this adds to the effect of the poem.

Experimental Poetry Form: Three stanzas

This experimental poetry form is called three stanzas.  As the name implies, it consists of three stanzas.  Here are the other qualities:

Stanza one has four lines, stanza two has five, and stanza three has three.

Stanza one is not indented, stanza two has each line indented five spaces, and stanza three has each line indented three spaces.

Stanza one has four syllable lines, stanza two has six syllable lines, and stanza three has five syllable lines.

Each stanza is an acrostic stanza for a different word.

Here is what the form looks like:

****
****………………Word one acrostic
****
****

     ******
     ******………..Word two acrostic
     ******
     ******
     ******

   *****
   *****…………..Word three acrostic
   *****

Here is an example poem written in the form

What is that noise,
heard in the dark,
amongst shadows,
this quiet night?

     Certainly just a dream,
     of fears and dreads of dark,
     made of glimpses and sounds,
     entirely of fog,
     silently in shadows.

   Not falling backward,
   over the cliff’s edge,
   where fear reaches out.

 

P. S. Happy fifth day of Christmas.

 

P. S. S. As Monday is New Year’s Day, there will be no new blog post on the blog that day. Happy New Year.

Poetry essay: Using stanzas in poetry – A new category

In yesterday’s milestone post, as well as in at least one previously, there was a mention of expanding the basic categories of this blog.  The basic categories now are: artwork inspiration, bilingual poem, experimental poetry form, photo inspiration, poem, poem with explanation, and poetry topic ideas.  There was some thought of expanding this list, as something felt missing from the blog.

Today’s post is the start of a new category.  The category is called Poetry essays.  As the name implies, it will consist of essays related to poetry.

The title of this blog is M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things.  During the time of this blog, some aspect of the “about poetry” part felt missing.  This is an attempt to fill in that piece.

As it stands now, there will be ten posts in this category.  They will be worked into the general rotation of posts.  After the ten posts, the category will be evaluated, and there will be a determination of whether or not it will continue.  Hopefully things will go well, readers will like the posts, and it will be a new addition to the blog.

The idea of the poetry essays, will be to examine different aspects of poetry.

In the first poetry essay below, the idea of using stanzas in poetry is examined.  Please enjoy the essay and let M. Sakran know what you thought of it by using the form on the Contact page.

Using stanzas in poetry

For the purposes of this essay, a stanza is segment of a poem separated from other segments of a poem by one or more line breaks.  This may differ from other definitions.

To illustrate, the following is an example of the look of a poem with stanzas, with each line represented by an *.  Each stanza is labeled with a letter.

 

*………………………………….A
*
*
*

*………………………………….B
*

  *………………………………..C
  *

      *…………………………….D

*………………………………….E
*
*

 

*………………………………….F
*
*
*

 

Stanzas, in conjunction with line breaks, have many uses in poetry.

One use, is to impart “the look of poetry” to a poem.  Some readers of poetry might expect poetry to have a certain “look”.  They might expect poetry to be written in stanzas, like the example above.  This might seem traditional to some.

Writing poetry with a stanza structure, can signal to a reader that they are reading poetry.  If a poet wrote a prose poem, or, depending on structure, a free verse poem, the poem might not at first glance appear to be a poem to some readers.  Additionally, shorter poetry forms without stanzas, might not have that “standard” poetry look that some readers expect.

Having a poem, that “looks like a poem” can help a poem be more effective for some readers.

Another use of stanzas, is to contain ideas.  Stanzas can be used like sentences (or maybe paragraphs) in prose writing.  They give a convenient place to talk about an aspect of a subject, before switching to another subject or aspect.

Stanzas can also help provide a sense of separation in a poem.  As mentioned above, they can be used to separate subjects and aspects of subjects.  Additionally, they can provide separation within a subject or aspect.  The idea might be to provide a pause, set apart an idea, to change a perspective, or accomplish some other goal of a poet.

Stanzas are also usefully integrated with other poetic elements.  For example, stanzas can be used with poetic meter or repeats.  They provide a structure that other poetic elements can be applied to.

Stanzas can also help with brevity in a poem.  If a poet decided to write a poem with four, four line stanzas, for example, that structure would force the poet to contain their ideas within that form.  This might help the poet to be more concise.

Another aspect of stanzas is that they help when a poem is being discussed or examined.  Like is often done in the poems with explanations on this blog, they give points of reference for a poem.  When a poem has stanzas, whoever is discussing the poem, has places to refer readers to.

When using stanzas, there are a number of variables to consider which can have an impact on the presentation of ideas.  There are the number of stanzas, the number of lines per stanza (and whether that number will vary between stanzas), the indention of stanzas and lines within stanzas, and the number of line breaks between stanzas (and again, whether that will vary between stanzas).  Also, as mentioned above, other poetic elements can be added to a stanza structure.

The variation in the variables can have an impact on presentation.  For example, a poem with stanzas with the same number of lines, no indentions, and one line break between stanzas, might seem more formal than a poem where those variables varied.

As another example, increasing line breaks or indentions can cause a separation and a pause for the part of the poem they are applied to.

There are some cautions when using stanzas in poetry.

First, whether a poet decides to start with a strict stanza structure, or they simply use the idea of stanzas in their poem, the containment of text within specific structures might not work well if the ideas seem fitted to the form or if the ideas disregard the form.

For example, imagine a poet was using a stanza with four lines, but one of their ideas naturally fit better in three.  A poet might extend the idea to have a fourth line, to fit the form, and that might take away from the expression.

On the other side, a poet might again be using stanzas with four lines, but might have some idea that naturally fits in five lines.  Because of the form, they might carry one line over from one stanza to the next.  If this is done in a way that feels awkward for the form, it can take away from the expression.

Secondly, stanzas, in some configurations, impart a sense of “traditional poetry” to a poem, as mentioned above.  Depending on the expression though, this might not be desired.  A poet might not want their poem to come across with a traditional sense, for the given subject they are talking about.

Third, depending on the expression, stanzas might not be the most effective way for a poet to communicate their idea.  Depending on what a poet wanted to accomplish, a prose poem, a short single stanza poem, a long single stanza poem or a pictorial poem might work better than a poem separated into stanzas.

Experimental Poetry Form: Repeat Pattern

This experimental poetry form comes from part of yesterday’s poem.  At the end of the poem, there were the stanzas:

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not pause,
before her words.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not speak,
the truth to him.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she said no.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she spoke truth.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
he spoke those words,
those days ago.

The four syllables per line and the four lines per stanza, were a thought through element of the poem, that came early on in the poem’s writing.  The repeats however, were something that developed as the poem was written.

As you can see above, there is pattern that is as follows:

Line A,
Line B,
****,
****.

Line A,
Line B,
****,
****.

Line C,
Line D,
Line E,
****.

Line C,
Line D,
Line E,
****.

Line A,
Line B,
****,
****.

The pattern above seemed to form a cohesive pattern and inspired today’s experimental poetry form.

Today’s form is called Repeat Pattern, and has the following characteristics:

Stanzas: 5

Lines per stanza: 4

Syllables per line: 4

Repeating Pattern: AB** AB** CDE* CDE* AB**, with the letters representing repeats, and the *’s representing individual lines.

An example of the use of this form can be found in the partial poem above.  Again, the full poem can be read in yesterday’s post.

Experimental Poetry Form: Stanzas, syllables and repeats

This experimental poetry form has three stanzas.  The form is based on three variables: the number of lines in each stanza, the number of syllables in each line and repeats.

The first stanza has eight lines.  The first six lines are eight syllables long each, and the last two lines are six syllables long each.

The second stanza has five lines.  The first two lines are six syllables long each, and the last three lines are eight syllables long each.

The third stanza has seven lines.  The first three lines have eight syllables each, and the last four lines have four syllables each.

The stanza lengths flow from long, to short, to medium, and the line lengths flow from long, to medium, to long, to short.

In the form, there are two sets of repeats.  The first line of the first stanza is the same as the first line of the last stanza.  Also, the first six syllable line is the same as the last six syllable line.

The form looks like below.  The groups are the stanzas, the numbers indicate the number of syllables in a line, and the letters show the lines that are repeated.

8A
8
8
8
8
8
6B
6

6
6B
8
8
8

8A
8
8
4
4
4
4

 

The form has no meter and no intentional rhyming other than the repeated lines.

Although the description of the form is slightly lengthy, since the main aspect of the form is syllable count, it is not intended to be difficult to use.

The form has a number of attributes that could influence a poem written in it.

First, because the first line of the first stanza and the first line of the last stanza are the same, it provides continuity between them.  Near the end of the poem, the reader is reminded of some aspect at the beginning of the poem.

Also, the first stanza is tied to the second stanza because the first stanza ends with two six syllable lines and the second stanza starts with two six syllable lines.  In addition the first six syllable line of the first stanza, is the same as the last six syllable line of the second stanza.  This also provides a connection.

Additionally, the first stanza is also tied to the second and third stanzas because the first stanza is mirrored in the second and third stanzas.  The first stanza has a syllable count of 88888866 and the second and third stanzas together have a syllable count of 668888884444.  It can be seen that the eight and six syllable counts mirror each other.

In another potential influence, because the last four lines of the poem are shorter than all the rest, they can help bring the poem to a close.  This is because the lines sound different than the previous lines and because their shortness can force succinctness on ideas.

Lastly, because the stanza lengths flow from long, to short, to medium, this flow could have an effect on a poem that uses the form.  Similarly, because the line lengths flow from long, to medium, to long, to short, this also could have an effect.