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Form in Poetry Goatfoot Milktongue Twinbird Bonk baby Bonk baby…Bonk-Bonk! Rhythm! Sound and ORAL satisfaction, Yumm The satisfying CLICK at the end when.

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Presentation on theme: "Form in Poetry Goatfoot Milktongue Twinbird Bonk baby Bonk baby…Bonk-Bonk! Rhythm! Sound and ORAL satisfaction, Yumm The satisfying CLICK at the end when."— Presentation transcript:

1 Form in Poetry Goatfoot Milktongue Twinbird Bonk baby Bonk baby…Bonk-Bonk! Rhythm! Sound and ORAL satisfaction, Yumm The satisfying CLICK at the end when opposites are resolved; total form.

2 What makes poetry different from prose, in the most rudimentary sense? It’s in LINES! Well, usually. Ok, so how do you know where to break those lines? What principles govern line length?

3 Accentual Verse In a summer season when soft was the sun I shaped me in shrouds as a shepherd I were In habit as a hermit unholy of works Went wide in this world wonders to hear Line lengths determined by a consistent number of beats per line. caesura or pause

4 Accentual verse, as in the Old English, can be a bit wooden: BONK-BONK (pause) BONK-BONK (pause) But its simplicity and even courseness has its own beauty.

5 So, line lengths in poetry can be determined by a set number of beats or stresses. When you follow this principle, you’re writing accentual verse. Line lengths, though, can also be determined by other principles, such as a set number of Syllables When you do this, you’re writing syllabic verse. A famous Asian syllabic form of course is the _______________. Distant siren screams Dumb-ass Verne’s been playing with Gasoline again. 5 syllables 7 syllables 5 syllables HAIKU Tanka is Japanese poetry with five unrhymed lines of five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables. (5, 7, 5, 7, 7)

6 See our class library for more white trash haiku: REMORSE A painful sadness Can't fit big screen TV through Double-wide's front door DEPRIVED In WalMart toy aisle Wailing boy wants Barbie doll Mama whups his ass DESIRE Damn, in that tube-top You make me almost forget You are my cousin Oh yeah—don’t forget all the other resources in our class online library!

7 Syllabics aren’t really native to English, however, because... English is a Germanic language and heavily stressed. Syllable count in and of itself isn’t important to meaning. Stresses, on the other hand, can be FELT and are INTEGRAL to meaning:

8 Hey look at the white house. Hey look at the White House.

9 And yet another way of determining line length is: by counting BOTH stresses and syllables. This is called accentual-syllabic verse.

10 A unit comprised of a stressed syllable and its accompanying unstressed syllables is called a FOOT. iamb = trochee = anapest = dactyl =

11 A line with 5 feet = ______________ A line with 3 feet = ______________ A line with six feet = _____________ And so on. pentameter trimeter hexameter

12 A line with 5 iambic feet = ______________ A line with 3 dactylic feet = _____________ A line with 4 trochaic feet = ____________ Iambic pentameter dactylic trimeter trochaic tetrameter There are many patterns possible in accentual-syllabic lines: And so on.

13 Why do you suppose the IAMB is so important a foot in English poetry? Der!

14 that’s… Goatfoot,honey! RhythmPatternThrummingThrobbing YOUR OWN PULSE the DRUM in your own body

15 Traditional or fixed forms with particular meters as well as set stanza lengths The sonnet The sestina The villanelle And so on.

16 One Art The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster. Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn’t hard to master. Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster. I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn’t hard to master. I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster. --Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident the art of losing’s not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster. --Elizabeth Bishop

17 The More You Have to Lose –David Lehman Time flies, and a year can go by in a day. Look at your watch. Do your eyes say 2:45 or 9:15? The more you have, the more you can give away. You know the feeling, having no money, having to stay With relatives when you travel, unable to say what you mean: Time lies, and a year can go by in a day. When my father turned into my son, as in a play, All the fun took place offstage. What about the missing queen? The more you have, the more you can give away. The less you believe. The more you wish you could pray. Like a clock without hands, the truth of a face remains unseen. Time lies, and a year can go by in a day. With an elbow on the counter, and no passions left to sway, The all-night waitress smokes butt after butt, coughing in-between: The more you have, the more you can throw away. Ocean, what is on the other side of all that blue and gray? What does the grass know of yesterday's vanished green? Time lies, and a year can go by in a day. The more you have, the more you can give away.

18 First Offense I'm sorry, officer, I didn't see the sign Because, in fact, there wasn't any. I tell you The light was green. How much is the fine? Will the tumor turn out malignant or benign? Will the doctor tell us? He said he knew. I'm sorry, officer, I didn't see the sign. Not every madman is an agent of the divine. Not all who pass are allowed to come through. The light was green. How much is the fine? Which is worse, the rush or the wait? The line Interminable, or fear of coming fate? His anxiety grew. I'm sorry, officer. I didn't see the sign. I'm cold sober. All I had was one glass of wine. Was anyone hurt? Is there anything I can do? The light was green. How much is the fine? Will we make our excuses like so many clever lines, Awkwardly delivered? Never to win, always to woo? I'm sorry, officer. I didn't see the sign. The light was green. How much is the fine? — David Lehman

19 The sestina is a fun one… The sestina is a poem in iambic pentameter, with thirty-nine lines, divided into six stanzas of six lines each, plus a terminal envoy of three lines. The same six words conclude the lines of each stanza, but their order is varied in each stanza according to a strict pattern. The final envoy also uses the six words, but three appear at the ends of the lines and three appear in the middle of the lines. In the graph below, each number represents a specific word.

20 1-- Angel 2-- Sandwich 3-- Hope 4-- Below 5-- Crave 6— Time 1-- Angel 5-- Crave 2-- Sandwich 6-- Time 4-- Below 3-- Hope 3-- Hope 6 Time 4 Below 1 Angel 2 Sandwich 5 Crave Stanza I Stanza II Stanza III Stanza IV Stanza V Stanza VI Envoy 5 — Crave 3-- Hope … and so on BTW, most people don ’ t write the sestina in pentameter; it ’ s already hard enough!

21 See this sestina collection.sestina collection

22 Pantoums are also a kick… Lines are grouped into quatrains (4-line stanzas). The final line of the Pantoum must be the same as its first line. A Pantoum has any number of quatrains. Lines may be of any length. The Pantoum has a rhyme scheme of abab in each quatrain. Thus, the lines rhyme alternately. The Pantoum says everything twice: For all quatrains except the first, the first line of the current quatrain repeats the second line in the preceeding quatrain; and the third line of the current quatrain repeats the fourth line of the preceeding quatrain. In addition, for the final quatrain, its second line repeats the (so-far unrepeated) third line in the first quatrain; and its last line repeats the (so-far unrepeated) first line of the first quatrain. Thus the pattern of line-repetition is as follows, where the lines of the first quatrain are represented by the numbers " ": Lines in first quatrain Lines in second quatrain Lines in third quatrain Lines in fourth quatrain Lines in fifth and final quatrain

23 Pantoum Of The Great Depression Our lives avoided tragedy Simply by going on and on, Without end and with little apparent meaning. Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes. Simply by going on and on We managed. No need for the heroic. Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes. I don't remember all the particulars. We managed. No need for the heroic. There were the usual celebrations, the usual sorrows. I don't remember all the particulars. Across the fence, the neighbors were our chorus. There were the usual celebrations, the usual sorrows. Thank god no one said anything in verse. The neighbors were our only chorus, And if we suffered we kept quiet about it. At no time did anyone say anything in verse. It was the ordinary pities and fears consumed us, And if we suffered we kept quiet about it. No audience would ever know our story. It was the ordinary pities and fears consumed us. We gathered on porches; the moon rose; we were poor. What audience would ever know our story? Beyond our windows shone the actual world. We gathered on porches; the moon rose; we were poor. And time went by, drawn by slow horses. Somewhere beyond our windows shone the actual world. The Great Depression had entered our souls like fog. And time went by, drawn by slow horses. We did not ourselves know what the end was. The Great Depression had entered our souls like fog. We had our flaws, perhaps a few private virtues. But we did not ourselves know what the end was. People like us simply go on. We had our flaws, perhaps a few private virtues, But it is by blind chance only that we escape tragedy. And there is no plot in that; it is devoid of poetry. --Donald Justice

24 Blank Verse from "Birches" When I see birches bend to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy's been swinging them. But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning After a rain. They click upon themselves As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust— Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen. --Robert Frost Unrhymed iambic pentameter with no set number of lines. Let ’ s analyze some lines on the board …

25 Does form affect content? Does the sonnet or the sestina or the villanelle lead to a certain pattern of thinking?

26 Also, listen, NOT JUST for BEATS or metrics, but for SSSSSSSounds …

27 Along with rhythm, they make up the sensual body of the poem. SENSUAL SOUNDS AND TEXTURES

28 Look at that Frost passage again…

29 Often you must have seen them Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning After a rain. They click upon themselves As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—

30 ice sunny soon sun's shed shells shattering snow SSSSSSSSnake sunny enamel nnnn & mmmm & nunderful! click colored KickKluckKlack breeze rises crazes ZZZZZZZuzu’s petals stir cracks crust ERRRRRiotous! and sssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

31 Root Cellar Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as a ditch, Bulbs broke out of boxes hunting for chinks in the dark, Shoots dangled and drooped, Lolling obscenely from mildewed crates, Hung down long yellow evil necks, like tropical snakes. And what a congress of stinks! Roots ripe as old bait, Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich, Leaf-mold, manure, lime, piled against slippery planks. Nothing would give up life: Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath.

32 dank ditch dark dangled drooped dirt dank broke chinks dark necks snakes ripe silo lime piled life sleep cellar bulbs dangled lolling obscenely mildewed long yellow evil planks like piled tropical sleep roots ripe rank rich manure slippery dirt breathing breath tropical ripe pulpy piled slippery planks mildewed stems mold manure lime small long I-sounds plus L’s plus P’s and B’s and M’s = LOTS OF LONG TROPICAL LOOPY SNAKY LIVES LOLLING IN BREATHY DANK AND MOLDY DARK! alliteration consonance assonance Language that sounds like what it means; evokes feeling utterly in synch with meaning.

33 Any form of sound pattern in poetry, really, is a form of True or exact rhyme = the first or middle vowel and the final consonant of two words are exactly the same, but the final consonant, if there is one, differs: hat/cat ear/beer. Slant or partial rhyme = the first consonant (if any) in two words is the same; the middle vowel is different; and the final consonant is the same: hat/heat ear/are. Assonance = two or more words have the same vowel sounds: the pink breeze we need is free. Alliteration = two or more words have the same initial consonant: huge hairy hungry hunk. Consonance = two or more words have the same end consonant sounds: munch the batch of patched and crouching bitches. RHYME

34 And, finally…

35 Nothing would give up life: Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath.

36 Feel the CLICK at the end of Roethke’s poem? FORM ! That’s FORM ! That’s… & the satisfying resolution or suspension of opposites, of tension.

37 Ok, so what’s “free verse”? Poetry with no form? Poetry with no constraints of any kind? Lines can be broken randomly, no patterns of sound or stress?

38 Free verse poems (good ones) always have TONS of rhythm and gorgeous sound patterns. These features simply aren’t prescribed in advanced of the poem, but are rather discovered in the writing of the poem. They are used more or less UNCON- SCIOUSLY and intuitively. And they will of course tend to be less regular than in fixed forms. T.S. Eliot said that good free verse always had the ghost of meter behind it. NOT!

39 Free verse lines are typically broken according to the following principles:

40  Desire for a particular effect, ethos, feeling  Smoothness and elegance, for example, with a spoken quality, whole sentences or complete phrases He was completely and outrageously without a stitch of clothing.  Or maybe roughness, a poem that “fights itself,” is less “spoken,” stuttery, broken against the syntax of the sentence, of the phrase  Rhetorical emphasis and desire to stress particular words:  Breath units He was completely and outrageously without a stitch of clothing.  Visual emphasis He Was completely and Outrageously Without a stitch of Clothing. He was Completely and Outrageously without A Stitch of Clothing. He was completely and outrageously without A stitch Of clothing. = end-stopped = enjambed

41 For a great poet who really jams with enjambs a lot… see Robert Creeley

42 What determines stanza breaks in free verse? Each stanza is a verse paragraph, focused on a single topic or idea. Each stanza and its accompanying break is a unit of rhythm. Each stanza is a rhetorical gesture.

43 Glück Exercise

44 The Mirror Watching you in the mirror I wonder what it is like to be so beautiful and why you do not love but cut yourself, shaving like a blind man. I think you let me stare so you can turn against yourself with greater violence, needing to show me how you scrape the flesh away scornfully and without hesitation until I see you correctly, as a man bleeding, not the reflection I desire.

45 The Mirror Watching you in the mirror I wonder what it is like to be so beautiful and why you do not love but cut yourself, shaving like a blind man. I think you let me stare so you can turn against yourself with greater violence, needing to show me how you scrape the flesh away scornfully and without hesitation until I see you correctly, as a man bleeding, not the reflection I desire. Lines all end-stopped (complete sentences or phrases)

46 The Mirror Watching you in the mirror I wonder what it is like to be so beautiful and why you do not love but cut yourself, shaving like a blind man. I think you let me stare so you can turn against yourself with greater violence, needing to show me how you scrape the flesh away scornfully and without hesitation until I see you correctly, as a man bleeding, not the reflection I desire. Lines all enjambed (broken against the syntax of the sentence, cutting into the sentence and the phrase)

47 The Mirror Watching you in the mirror I wonder what it is like to be so beautiful and why you do not love but cut yourself, shaving like a blind man. I think you let me stare so you can turn against yourself with greater violence, needing to show me how you scrape the flesh away scornfully and without hesitation until I see you correctly, as a man bleeding, not the reflection I desire. Glück ’ s version

48 Be absolutely sure to read over “Form and Poetry” online— that page includes LOTS of links to GREAT sample poems! dPoetry.htm Look also at Sherman Alexie, for example. The guy writes in practically every form you can think of. Click here for Sherman emsAlexie.htmForm and Poetry Click here for Sherman

49 AND NOW… the persona poem (or poems written in “mask”) See Frank Bidart.Frank Bidart uct/cinichol/CreativeWri ting/323/MiscPoemsBid art.htm


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