Many thanks to Imelda of MY WALL who posted Yo-Yo Ma’s cello performance with her beautiful poem: ‘Cello Caress’and to Jane Dougherty who prompted us, a few weeks ago, to write about pain using this rhyming form (challenge #49).
This is my response to Jane Dougherty’s 50th Poetry Challenge: ‘Fifty’. She will be taking a break from hosting challenges for a while. I would like to express my profound gratitude for the challenges she has offered. For me it was a weekly writing workshop, an opportunity to learn and experiment with aspects of form I would not have tackled on my own.
The form proposed for this week is called a ‘Fifty’: five lines of 10 syllables each. Each line must rhyme. Combining a long syllable count with rhyme requirements was by no means effortless for me. My topic was partly inspired by the image provided with the challenge, but as the poem is not about the image I have not shown it here.
This is a Tritina attempt for Jane Dougherty Poetry Challenge #47. An important feature of this form are the three line endings in the first stanza–in this poem ‘spring’, ‘storm’ and ‘rain’. These words are used in a specific order in each stanza and the closing line. Jane’s challenge post describes the form in greater detail and offers the above image, a painting by Paul Cornoyer (American Painter: 1864-1923) as a source of inspiration.
This week, Jane Dougherty’s Challenge is an invitation to focus on meter–something I’ve been wanting to know more about. Here are her words:
This week’s challenge is more about the sound of the poem than the content. Sometimes it seems to me that we work hard to get our thoughts either into rhymes or simply into the right line lengths, and don’t listen to the sound it makes. This week, I thought we could concentrate on listening to the beats in the line rather than simply count syllables or find an appropriate rhyme.
Tetrameter (four beats to the line) and pentameter (five beats) give a rhythm that helps to make a line memorable. Try to think more of the way the stress falls than the number of syllables. It will inevitably mean shuffling word order or occasionally choosing a synonym, but you will end up with a poem that flows like a song.
To see her poem with the strong beats highlighted in bold type, please visit the challenge link above.
My poem is an attempt to maintain Tetrameter using a form called ‘Cascade’.
Sometimes life wheels grind and strain my tenacity,
Lost in clouds my troubled mind grasps for sanity.
Are my heartfelt words enough or excess chatter?
Even minor rebuff shakes my strained sanity.
I trundle on, an inner GPS is my guide
sending me back along a path to sanity.
Enjoy moments, release selfish concerns, allow
it all to float away–then I’ll find sanity.
No formula cures a restless spirit more than
love, giving love, our foundation, our sanity.
∼ ∼ ∼ ∼ ∼
The ghazal is an ancient form of Arabic poetry originating in the 7th or 8th century. Centuries later, English writers experimented with the form using free verse and recently, favoring uniform measures and use of rhyme. When Jane Dougherty invited us to write a ghazal this week I hesitated, but after stumbling on a fascinating article about the form I realized that I wanted to make an attempt.
A response to Jane Dougherty Poetry Challenge #43: Trilune—The ‘trilune’, a new form invented by Jane Dougherty, consists of nine lines, nine syllables each—that’s my quick summary. For her vision of the form, please visit her site at the above link.
The image is a public domain photo made available byPIXABAY.