Monday 18 May 2009

Practising Poetic Form

This seemed a suitable occupation for a wet Sunday afternoon. I'm still wading through the modules of a correspondence course about the ins and outs of writing poetry. I'm on the one dealing with Poetic Form, a subject touched upon originally in my far off schooldays, so a refresher is no bad thing by now! The course notes give details of rhyme schemes, rhythm, meter and number of lines for each form, so my only task is to choose which follow.

There is one apparently American invention, called a 'Minute' - twelve lines, sixty syllables in total, which I've never see or heard of before. It seemed like a good place to start.

If I'm writing anything on computer, I tend to use as symbols v and / as a pattern of feet (poetic, not bodily), so in this case the 'pattern' became:-

v / v / v / v /
v / v /
v / v /
v / v/
v / v / v / v /
v / v /
v / v /
v / v/
v / v / v / v /
v / v /
v / v /
v / v/

The rhyme scheme is aa bb cc dd ee ff.
And here is the resultant, first-time-of-trying poem in the form of:-

A Minute

I want to write a verse today,
but what to say?
Aye, there's the rub,
I need a hub
from which to let the words rotate,
to flow in spate
all down the page,
the poet's stage,
from whence I hope to fill the screen
that will be seen
by Bloggers all
who come to call.

Hmm - doesn't immediately inspire me to try more of the same, but at least it got a bit of my homework done...


  1. Okay, so, either I didn't quite understand it or did you miss a v / v / in the first 4 lines?
    I think I like the rythm of a minute. It probably didn't take you a minute to write ;-)

  2. I think like Carolina that you missed a v/v, but I wouldn't let it bother you. I've never heard of that one, but it does somehow appeal. I think it has possibilities. Go for it!

  3. Carolina and Dave - No, I've not missed anything out! The four lines give 20 syllables, so two repeats give you 60...
    You'll need to chat with my poetry tutor, Alison Chisholm, if you have problems with the pattern...

  4. OOPS! I'm wrong! I missed out writing the second line, 'But what to say?' even though I had the v/v/ written correctly, I did't copy my words right - so sorry!

  5. Hehehe, you are forgiven. Even for telling Dave and me off. Although, I don't know Dave. Perhaps he's now talking to Alison Chisholm, discussing the pattern and your grades.... LOL

    Hugs xx

  6. Interesting pattern! And your course sounds like quite good fun... I've always written poetry ( but am a follower of free verse... more out of laziness than anything else!

  7. I can't resist an attempt! I don't think it wil ever be my favourite verse form though!


    So Jinsky passed the time away
    The other day
    By writing verse!
    She could do worse.
    Though some of us had work in hand
    I understand
    That she was free
    For poecy.
    While I was ironing husband's shirts
    (And how this hurts!)
    As free as air
    She scribbled there,
    Creating such a work of art
    That from the start
    I was impressed!
    She passed the test!

  8. As much as I like to read and write, I've never given much thought to structure. Too, this form you present here, is a bit off( for me any-way ). But you seem to make it work well( as does Rinkly Rimes ). Haiku is closer( and shorter )for me, tho' I delve into it seldom. More into open verse or Chaucer style.

  9. I love writing poetry in form. Good luck with you class. I would love to take a course. I should look into it. My Minute goes as follows:

    Sallow winds blow at the clover
    knocking over
    grey earthen crocks
    Weather vane cocks
    spinning desperately around
    ignore the ground
    embrace the wind
    Begin again
    pick up the remnants of the storm
    true to the form
    We start anew
    with cobalt blue
    and bowing arches signify
    storm has passed by
    to still again
    the weather vane.


  10. This is all too much for me, I'm going into a darkened room to recover!

    Love Granny

  11. little lost (not a writer) just enjoying the words.

  12. I have never been able to get to grips with poetry. I can't seem to comprehend sentences in a poem which don't rhyme! I try sometimes but I always want to find a word that rhymes!

    CJ xx

  13. Good attempt! Just kidding, that's what my teacher always used to say to me!

  14. Oh, so much fun...I think it would be a difficult form to do as the couplets just keep going...As always, you delight us! Great fun!!! And some of your followers had fun with the form as well, I see! You are simply inspiring Jinksy! ~Janine XO

  15. I too am visiting a darkened room! I don't write poetry; I didn't even know about formulae ... but we live and learn and I think, deep down, I've just learned something. Enjoyed reading it though!

  16. Look what you've started now, Jinksy!! LOL. I loved your 'minute' and the other two too! I could be inspired by that rhythm. Maybe not! Too lazy.

  17. TAG - you're it!!... we're playing a game of tag in the blogosphere and I've tagged you. Come see my blog if you're not sure what to do!

  18. Ah now, so we learn that dear Jinksy is doing a poetry course!

    Carry on this way, and you'll be teaching the class soon, la Jinks! x

  19. I love the "beat" (for lack of the poetic term) and wish I had time to try it out!
    well done.

  20. I've only just realised it's called a Minute because sixty syllables take sixty seconds to say!!! I was a bit slow! I loved the one written by BREEZE. I'll try another when I'm in more lyrical mood.

  21. Holy crap! People follow rules?!!

  22. Oh, I love what you write and what your peeps comment! ♥♥♥

  23. That's pretty good for homework, Jinsky. Taking a correspondance course to write sounds like fun. I've wanted to take one of those for a while now. Can you tell us more about the class? How many poetry forms do you cover? Which ones have you covered so far?

    I think I'll go looking for a course like this to take. :-)


  24. wow, you're disciplined when it comes to writing...

  25. I love poems in forms, and the ingenuity of you and your poetic friends!


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