What’s in a Name

What’s in a name? It’s just a name,
A few small letters in a row.
Though countless others use the same,
To me it’s special, for I know
That when I speak his name, his ears
Are open to my voice. His smile
Can melt my sorrows, calm my fears.
And though we’re distant for a while,
The miles melt, my hopes enwreathe
Whenever I his name but breathe.

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10-line Poem Challenge #30: Sonnetina Tre

This is week 3 in our study of sonnetinas, or “little songs.” Previously we have tried our hands at the Sonnetina Cinque and Sonnetina Quattro. Both of these forms have quite a bit of flexibility within the general framework, and you will find the same to be true for the Sonnetina Tre.

As you might guess from the title, this form is created from three stanzas: 2 quatrains and 1 couplet. It is usually written in iambic tetrameter (8-syllable lines) or pentameter (10-syllable lines). The normal structure concludes with the couplet, making it just one quatrain short of a Shakespearean sonnet. But it is possible to have the couplet in the middle or even at the beginning. Regardless of the order in which the stanzas appear, they are written together, as a 10-line form, with no space in between.

In addition to the placement of the couplet, there is also flexibility in the format of the quatrains. As defined by their rhyme, they can be:
• a series of couplets (aabb)
• alternate line rhyme (abab)
• envelope rhyme (abba)
• partial rhyme (xaxa)
• free verse (no rhyme)

The couplet itself is also flexible. In other words, it may rhyme or not. According to my sources, it can also rhyme with the adjoining quatrain (though to me that contradicts the definition of the stanza). The key is that the couplet contains the theme of the poem. In prose terms, the couplet is like the topic sentence in a paragraph.

If you want to know more about couplets, go to my article on the Sonnetina Cinque.

You may have noticed that the Sonnetina Tre is very similar to the Miniature, another form we have studied. It too is made from two quatrains followed by a rhyming couplet. The difference is that the Miniature has varying line lengths, as specified in the form, whereas all the lines of the Sonnetina Tre are of a uniform length (isosyllabic). The line length is up to you, the writer, but once established, you must use the same meter / syllabic count for every line.

In summary, the Sonnetina Tre is:

  • A decastich (10-line poem) written in three stanzas, two quatrains and a couplet, with no spaces between.
  • Usually iambic tetrameter (8 syllables per line) or pentameter (10 syllables per line).
  • Rhyme scheme options: abab cdcd ee, abba cc deed, xaxa xbxb ab, etc.

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The Art of Poetry

Brush of the artist, pen of the scribe—
Tools that she handles with equal finesse.
Able the eye and the ear to impress—
What she has tasted, gives us to imbibe.
Painting a picture using her words—
Paper, the canvas; life is the scene.
And on the easel, color ungirds,
Telling a story with writing unseen.
Poetry springs not from technique;
The artist makes the art unique.

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First Day in Braces

For years I’ve longed to have a perfect smile;
At last the long-awaited day has come.
I didn’t know they’d be so worrisome—
Will my mouth be this tender all the while?
They say there is no profit without pain;
I only hope it will not be in vain.
My daughter never did so carry on;
She chuckles now to see her mom complain.
From further loud laments I shall refrain,
Envisioning my smile when these are gone.

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Little Treasures

I read the book you gave to me;
It made me feel so close to you.
The words on every page I see,
You read them first, when you went through.
When turning to page ninety-three,
Some special tokens came in view.
For pressed between the pages there
Were petals from a once-red rose
And a ribbon ‘round a lock of hair—
Their meaning no one but us knows….

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10-line Poem Challenge #29: Sonnetina Quattro

This week we are continuing our study of sonnetinas, or 10-line sonnets. Last week we started with the Sonnetina Cinque. That form is made by doubling a quintet of any form (two 5-line stanzas), which may be written together or with a break in between.

The Sonnetina Quattro is a sestet (6-line stanza) and a quatrain (4-line stanza), usually written in iambic tetrameter or pentameter, with alternating rhyme. The sestet is normally first, although the order could be reversed.

I did not notice any particular restrictions or instructions regarding the content of the poem, like a volta (sharp turn in the thought). The volta may be understood, as that is one of the characteristics of the sonnet, or it may be totally unnecessary.

In summary, the Sonnetina Quattro is:

  • A decastich (10-line poem) written in two stanzas, a sestet and a quatrain.
  • Usually iambic tetrameter (8 syllables per line) or pentameter (10 syllables per line).
  • Rhyme scheme: ababab cdcd

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What’s in a Name

amaryllis budEach day the view is different, yet the same
The flowers take their turns at turning out
I still don’t know the species all by name.
A new one lately has begun to sprout;
Unknown, I still enjoy it just the same.
An amaryllis, I have little doubt,
If leaf and stalk, and color can define.
A few more days, the blossom will be full,
As daily it receives both rain and shine.
Though nameless, it shall still be beautiful.

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Irons in the Fire

The day was long and wearisome,
So many irons in the fire.
My spirit, tired, was overcome;
The hammock answered my desire,
And soon I thought I would succumb—
Unfinished chores ignited ire.

You wear yourself too thin, you know.
You’ve done the same thing time again.
Pull out some irons; let them go,
Then plan your work and work your plan.

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