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Sotades invented palindromes in Greek-ruled Egypt, back in the 3rd century BC. In fact, palindromes were once known as "Sotadic verses." He was thrown into the sea (wrapped in lead) by King Ptolemy II, for insulting the king in one of his verses.
They were quite popular in the 1800's, but have not shared much popularity since around the 1930's.
Palindrome comes from the Greek words "palin" (again or back) and "dramein" (to run). So if you read that backwards, it translates loosely into "to run back."
The palindrome simply reads the same forwards and backwards, usually with a central focal point from where it begins to read backwards. There are several ways to write palindrome poems, three are presented here, along with examples.
1. It can be read backwards, with the same words, such as the example below.
by Paula Brown
Passionate always, forging forward.
Unquiet rage screams
The glosa is an early Renaissance form that was developed by poets of the Spanish court in the 14th and 15th centuries. In a glosa, tribute is paid to another poet. The opening quatrain, called a cabeza, is by another poet, and each of their four lines are imbedded elsewhere in the glosa.
The opening quatrain is followed by four stanzas, each of which is generally ten lines long, that elaborate or "glosses" on the cabeza chosen. Each ending line (10th line) of the four following stanzas is taken from the cabeza.
The usual rhyme scheme of a glosa is final word rhyming of the 6th, 9th and the borrowed 10th lines.
Irish Pride and Prejudice
(Glosa verse by Darren Anderson)
In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.
In memory of W.B. Yeats
A putrid scene of civil conflict
returns without regret,
festering in dead hearts,
lacking the fortitude to forgive.
Waiting, we long for
ClerihewThe Clerihew is a form of comic verse invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley, and championed by his friend, the novelist Gilbert Keith Chesterton. It consists of four lines of irregular length, rhymed AABB, or two uneven couplets, if you prefer to think of it that way.
Clerihews are almost always biographical, and the first line usually consists solely of the subject's name, perhaps the most famous example being:
Sir Christopher Wren
Said, "I am going to dine with some men.
If anyone calls,
Say I am designing St Paul's."
They may also be about a non-human subject:
The art of Biography
Is different from Geography,
Geography is about maps,
But Biography is about chaps.
Or, indeed, about a fictional ch
Made famous by the greek poetess Sappho of Lesbos, c 600 BC - the Sapphic stanza is a metric poetic form spanning 4 lines.
The form has 3 hendecasyllabic lines - Each consisting of the following metric feet: trochee, trochee, dactyl, trochee, trochee
The fourth, concluding line has a Dactyl followed by a Trochee - this last line is known as the Adonic or Adonean line.
A brief note on the metric feet used in Sapphic Verse -
A Trochee is a two syllable foot, which follows a 'DAH-dah' rhythm
A Dactyl is a three syllable foot, which follows a 'DAH-dah-dah' rhythm
'Sapphics' by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Saw the white implacable Aphrodite,
Saw the hair unbound and the feet unsandalled
Shine as fire of sunset on western waters;
Saw the reluctant. . .
to show the metric pattern -
SAW the / WHITE im- / PLACable / APHro- / DIte
SAW the / HAIR un- / BOUND and the / FEET un- / SANDalled
SHINE as / FIRE of / SUNset on / WESTe
The Ghazal is an adaptation of a Persian form of poetry used to honor emperors and noblemen. A part of this poem broke off and evolved into the Ghazal. It is not a very commonly used English form as it was introduced only recently.
The Ghazal is a string of 5-15 couplets, with each couplet being able to stand alone as a complete thought and/or poem. At the end of the second line of every couplet is a 1-3 word long refrain. The word before the refrain is a rhyme that carries through the entire poem. A rhyming scheme would look like that: AA, BA, CA, DA, and so on.
The first and last couplets are special. In the first couplet, called matla, the rhyme is used in both lines. Often in the last couplet, the author's penname is used. The last couplet is the most personal one of the poem, and expresses something from the author's point of view.
Here is a Ghazal by Erin A. Thomas.
Once bright homes in blossom, now dead fallen,
They lay by the spinning blade's head fallen.
The terza rima is a traditional poetic form whose most renowned offspring is Dante's 'The Divine Comedy' (ca. 1300).
Obviously it wasn't first written in English, but it works just as well and is very pleasant in my opinion, especially when it's read aloud/performed.
The form is best written in iambic pentameter:
The sheep was killed by wings of fire and ice;
(the SHEEP | was KILLED | by WINGS | of FIRE | and ICE)
And yes, I know that example is horrible, but it gets the point across
The rhyming scheme is as follows:
a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c, d-e-d, e-e
Here is an example from Shelley's 'Ode to the West Wind':
O wild West Wing, thou breath of Autumn's being, (a)
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead (b)
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, (a)
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, (b)
Pestilence stricken multitudes: O thou (c)
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed (b)
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low
Rondel, Rondel Prime
* A note: In my studies of these forms (Rondeau, Rondel, Rondelet, Roundel, Rondine, etc) it becomes increasingly clear that there is little accurate information. To the best of my knowledge, this is accurate although I had to wade through acres of mislabeled works and forms to accumulate this much. Keep in mind that most definitions of these forms are rather broad and ambiguous due to the fact most people think the forms are all interchangeable or there is only one or two forms for all these different names. The truth, as I have discovered it, is rather drastically different.
The Rondel is a French style of lyrical poetry that is made up of two quatrains followed by a quintet. This gives us a total of 13 lines (that can be of any length) to contain the two rhymes that follow a scheme of: ABba abAB abbaA where A and B are the refrains.
The following is an exam
The Bref Double
The bref double is a French form. It is similar to the sonnet, but it need not be written in iambic pentameter (it can be in tetrameter, hexameter, or any other meter you prefer). The rhyme scheme is also different from a sonnet. The bref double contains three quatrains (four-line stanzas) followed by a final couplet.
The x standing for a line that doesn't rhyme with any of the other lines.
With crystal rain, the sky is filled
with diamond flakes that swirl and dance
to tunes that they alone may know,
unheeded by the ears of man.
The northern winds play havoc with
mere mortal plans, as drifts now build
their buttresses of pristine white
as if to mark some hidden plan.
This land is decorated, chilled,
and sealed for all to gaze with joy;
see all the children laugh, so thrilled
to witness Mother Nature's show!
Though my intent lies thwarted, killed,
my smile grows broad at so much snow!
The triolet (pronounced as tree-oh-lay) is one of the many fixed forms of verses we have today. It was invented in medieval France, and has been preserved through modern literature.
Back in the medieval ages, the triolets were short witty poems that had a ten-syllable meter to it. It was perhaps due to the lightness of this structure that the triolet was often used to express humour, although it has been said that some of the first English triolets were of spiritual content.
A triolet is a French verse of eight lines and two rhymes. Out of these eight lines, five of them are repeated or refrained lines. In the following illustration, these five lines are represented by the alphabet A/a:
A – first line of the poem
B – second line of the poem
a – rhymes with the first line
A – identical to the first line
a – rhymes with the first line
b – rhymes with the second line
A – identical to the first line
B – identical to the second line
Thus, it is
A Guide to Visual Poetry"Concrete poetry is poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem..." ~Wikipedia
Visual poetry, also known as concrete poetry, is fun to write because you have colors, textures, and words all at your power to manipulate. You've probably seen visual poetry before, where a poem is written in the shape of what it describes, like "Pyramids":
of hope through
the heat, that simple
materials in simple shapes
can stand as skyscrapers fall.
It's a start, but as a visual poet you've got way more power than this.
Font - Finally, after years of 9 pt. Arial (or whatever it is th
The SonnetThe Sonnet
A sonnet is a fourteen-line lyric poem, with a rhyme scheme that is more or less fixed. Normally sonnets are written in iambic pentameter verse, and the thought pattern follows the structure very closely.
The Italian or Petrarchan Sonnet
In the 14th century, Petrarch, an Italian poet, made sonnet form famous by writing a series of love sonnets. The Italian sonnet consists of an octave or octet (eight lines) which describes the subject or introduces a problem, and a sestet (six lines) which comments on or resolves it. The octave consists of 2 quatrains, each rhyming abba. The sestet consists of two tercets, which rhyme in various ways: cde cde, or cdc dcd, for example. The final tercet normally makes a climactic statement.
The Shakespearean, Elizabethan, or English Sonnet
These sonnets consist of three quatrains with independent rhymes, and a concluding rhyming couplet: abab cdcd efef gg. The quatrains may provide 3 examples of a theme or 3 approaches to a problem, or the fir
How to Write Villanelles Villanelles can be quite discouraging; they look simple but are actually quite difficult. However, when mastered, it becomes technically easy according to Conrad Geller. Just like riding a bike, right? The name Villanelle is derived from the Italian villa, or country house, which is where aristocrats went to refresh themselves. Strangely enough, the form is originally French and only appeared in the English language in the lat 1800s (19th century). Out of the 19 lines in a Villanelle, only two rhymes are used. Furthermore, two lines repeat throughout the poem; usually the first and last lines of the first stanza are repeated interchangeably throughout the second, third, fourth, and fifth stanzas (starting with the first line of the first stanza) until the last stanza where both are repeated in the same stanza.
A word about haiku - MS JamesA word about haiku - by Michael James
I believe there are a few basic precepts about haiku that are largely overlooked, or just flat out just not taught in most basic literary (poetic) courses. Everyone seems to know that a haiku is supposed to be written in the structure of 5-7-5 syllables per line respectively, but there is much more going on than just a simple syllable constraint. I shall attempt to give a brief overview of the main points about haiku.
First off, the 5-7-5 syllable structure most often cited as being the sole 'structural rule' of haiku is based on the original Japanese constraint. However, the Japanese language and more specifically their word structure differ from English in a critical way when it comes to the definition of this structure. In the Japanese language, each sound unit is called an onji as opposed to our syllable. This unit of measure for a word is considerable more concise than what we use to define a syllable (typically only
Haikai no RengaThe Tools of Poetry #1: Haikai no Renga
Written by Dick Whyte, Phylis Johnson and Reginald Webber
Summary: This text details the mechanics and philosophy of the Japanese poetic form known as Haikai no Renga. A group of people comprised of both professional poets and so-called 'non-poets' (preferably) gather. One of them comprises a starting line, a dyad consisting of a paradox, or contradictory statement. One might be I am blue, but I am not blue, while another might be I am sad, and yet I am happy. In Western terms this might be considered a piece of philosophical nonsense, an absurdity. Each starting line reiterates 'I am being and yet I am not being'. This phrase is an impossibility surely? Classical Western philosophy often asserts this view. As Aristotle writes after Parmenides, That which is not could [not] in any way exist [or
How to Create Visual Poetry Concrete poetry, also known as Visual Poetry and shape poetry, is a type of poetry in which the arrangement and overall look of the words is just as important at conveying the effect/message as the words and rhymes in poetry do themselves. 1
Created in Brazil by Max Bill and Öyving Fahlström two Eupoean artists - Concrete poetry and its early methods were described in the Brazilian group Noigandres' manifesto "Pilot Plan for Concrete Poetry."(2) It is during this period that Concrete Poetry was intended to be abstract and not allude to any specific piece of poetry or identifiable shape. When the 1960s came to the forefront of everyones mind, concrete poetry became less abstract and was adopted by poets as a specific form rather than simply a combination of literature and visual art. A few early pioneers of the vi
Handout 1 - More on ScansionMore on Scansion
If scanning a line of verse is difficult for you, do not fret. As the cliché goes, practice makes perfect. In this lesson, I'll go over some of the tricks of scansion and offer some ways to more easily identify a line's meter.
Take this opening line of one of Shakespeare's most famous sonnets, titled either "Sonnet 18" or by the first line:
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Your first task should be to identify polysyllabic words that can only be pronounced in one way. "Compare" and "summer's" are two such words, an iamb and a trochee, respectively:
˘ / / ˘
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Saying "COMpare" or "sumMER'S" would sound awkward, as this is not how they are pronounced in normal speech. We have another hint in "a," which is part o
Lesson 2 - More MeterQUOTE OF THE DAY
"A poet who makes use of a worse word instead of a better, because the former fits the rhyme or the measure, though it weakens the sense, is like a jeweler, who cuts a diamond into a brilliant, and diminishes the weight to make it shine more."
- Horace Walpole
While every metrical poem will have a base meter to serve as its backbone, many poets often find that writing in ten-syllable iambic sentences, for example, is too limiting for their purposes, either because pure meter doesn't provide enough variation for proper emphasis or because it quickly gets dull and tedious, or a combination of the two.
You might have noticed this limitation when you wrote your blank verse in the last lesson. Often it occurs that there is something you want to say that simply will not work in your base meter, that you have to sound like Yoda to get your words into the proper meter, or that you feel that a different foot "feels right" in a certain place. &
"Poeticks: On Imagery" 2 of 3
Chapter 4: Quality of imagery
4-1: Figure of Speech
We have already heard from deviantArt writers about the importance of "figure of speech" within imagery.
To make out a clearer picture of "imagery" from the writer's point of view, let us take take a closer look. You may find futilitarian's Terms and Techniques a useful guide along the way, and other online resources to complement what we are about to explore. We will not go over the whole gamut of writing techniques here for that is not the main purpose, but here, let us look at how a variety of figure of speech may be used in a single piece of poetry.
We will dissect T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song for J. Alfred Prufrock" solely from a figure-of-speech point of view. For those who have not read it, we prefer that you peruse it once through before continuing this section. http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html
What we would like readers to note is a) how figures of speech
Ottava Rima is an eight-line form, originally Italian, having either eleven syllables per line or a line of iambic pentameter—the commonly accepted English use of the form being iambic pentameter.
The rhyme scheme is A-B-A-B-A-B-C-C, which is a moderately rigorous rhyme scheme. This makes ottava rima an excellent stepping-stone toward writing sonnets.
The earliest known use of ottava rima is in the works of Giovanni Boccaccio, who wrote several minor poems in the form and then used it as a stanza form in several of his longer works. This act propelled ottava rima to the primary form for epic poetry in Italy for roughly two centuries.
Ottava rima is relatively unpopular in English literature ; several works have been produced by Romantic poets such as Shelly and Lord Byron.
We shall leave you to your writing after an example from Don Juan by Lord Byron :
"Go, little book, from this my solitude!
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