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Poetry form question - Light One Candle

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March 3rd, 2012

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10:26 pm - Poetry form question
Has anyone ever heard of a poetry form like the following?

It's the melding of two different (even opposite) ideas or images. (Example: warrior, healer; nun, hooker; water, fire.) There's a consistent meter, but no rhyme scheme. The structure is:

4 lines - 1st idea

4 lines - 2nd idea

2 lines - 1st idea
2 lines - 2nd idea

1 line - 1st idea
1 line - 2nd idea

1 line - both are melded into one

I quite like this format, but I made it up, and I'm having difficulty finishing the poem because I'm not certain it's working the way I want it to. Thoughts? Questions?

(4 lit candles | Light a candle)


[User Picture]
Date:March 4th, 2012 08:12 am (UTC)
That’s a very interesting form, and I quite like it. Makes me think of the antiphonal nature of Biblical Hebrew poetry, coupled with the strict measure of Western forms — sonnets for psalmists.

What is the consistent meter that you are using? Perhaps I could comment intelligently if I knew that. It would give me a very much better idea what this sort of poem sounds like.
[User Picture]
Date:March 4th, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
At the moment, the meter has roughly four accents. (I think my brain really likes the Old English style, because I keep writing stuff that maybe ought to be iambic pentameter or something and it wants to sound like Beowulf instead.) I'll figure out how to make it conform more closely once I solve the question of the structure.

Actually, very good question. I wonder if maybe ending with a single line with just four beats is slightly too short, and that's why I'm not completely satisfied with the structure.
[User Picture]
Date:March 5th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
C. S. Lewis had a habit, when writing in iambic pentameter, of occasionally inserting a sixth foot into his lines for emphasis. It became rather a stylistic tic with him, and I sometimes grit my teeth when reading his poems because I’m waiting for the next shoe (containing an extra foot) to drop. But it is more effective when used sparingly, and might be most effective of all if it is supposed to be there by the rules of the form.

A fifth foot in the last line might be just the thing to add that needed bit of oomph, while giving you room to say what needs saying in the one line that has to touch on both themes. Praps?
[User Picture]
Date:March 5th, 2012 03:29 am (UTC)
Praps! I shall give it a try, and see what happens. Thank you very much for your insight.

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