Sunny Sunday

looking upward into the tree from my hammock

Sunny Sunday afternoon—
perfect time
to sway in the hammock,
staring blankly into the foliage
that towers above me
and dances
to the music of my mind.

As I sway and stare
my vision veers
from real to remembered
and once again I find myself
lost in happy thoughts of you—
Our past…
Our present…
Our future…

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Afternoon Ride

An oddly elegant pedestrian
And lovely, corpulent equestrian
Went riding joyously authentical
On horses seemingly identical.
The rider’s enormous immensity
Gave gelding increasing propensity
To stalling. Staggering incidentally,
Then throwing horsewoman accidentally,
The other dismounted tenuously—
They ambled together strenuously.

 

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10-line Poem Challenge #31: Sonnetina Due

Welcome to week 4 in our study of sonnetinas, or “little songs.” We are counting down from the Sonnetina Cinque, Sonnetina Quattro, and Sonnetina Tre. All of these forms have quite a bit of flexibility within the general framework, and you will find that the Sonnetina Due is no different in that regard.

The Sonnetina Due is a bit mysterious to me, for I’ve found some conflicting information regarding this form. All sources agree that the Sonnetina Due is formed from five couplets, but the conflict comes with the rhyme scheme. Some say it has a rhyme scheme of aabbccddee, while other sources say that rhyming is optional, and that any couplet form may be used. For the sake of my tutorial, I am going to side with those who allow any form of couplet, and that your choices for rhyme are either the rhyme scheme above or no rhyme at all. After all, as I worked with the following the couplets, such was the pattern that developed.

Since the couplet is the foundation for the Sonnetina Due, let’s look at some couplets. The couplet may be classified by its type and by its form. You will also see the words iambic and trochaic used below. If you don’t remember what they are, you may refer back to my earlier article, The Nuts and Bolts of Poetry.

Couplet Types

  1. Closed couplet — a poetic unit of 2 lines that expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a poem in its own right. Meter and rhyme are at the poet’s discretion.
  2. Open couplet — a couplet that cannot stand alone or does not express a complete thought. The endings are enjambed (i.e. commas or no punctuation at all), allowing the thought to continue to the next line.

Couplet Forms

  1. Short couplet — two rhyming lines written in iambic or trochaic tetrameter (8 syllables)
  2. Heroic couplet — a rhyming couplet written in iambic pentameter (10 syllables). It may be either open or closed.
  3. Shakespearean couplet — a closed heroic couplet that summarizes the theme of the entire poem.
  4. Alexandrine couplet — two rhymed lines of iambic hexameter (12 syllables)
  5. Split couplet — rhymed 2-line form with the first line in iambic pentameter (10 syllables) and the second line in iambic dimeter (4 syllables).
  6. Alpha couplet — The first line is formed from four words that all begin with the same letter. The second line rhymes with the first and has the same meter. The final word of all lines must be a noun.
  7. Chinese [antithetical] couplet — When written in Chinese, both lines must have the same number of characters, with one character per word; the tone pattern of one line must be the inverse of the other. The meanings of the two lines must be related, as must the corresponding characters. In English, each line must have the same number of words, and each word in line 1 should correspond in meaning and grammar to the words in line 2, with line 2 creating a counterpoint to line 1. Rhyme is optional.
  8. Rhophalic couplet — a poem in which the nth word of each line has n syllables. For example, the first word has 1 syllable, the second word has 2 syllables, etc. There is no limit to line length, and rhyme is not required.
  9. Seven-eleven couplet — Stanzaic, with any number of rhyming couplets. Each couplet has a line length of 7 or 11 syllables, in any possible combination (i.e. 7-7, 7-11, 11-11, 11-7). The only stipulation is that lines 6 and 11 (if there is one) are always 11 syllables.

There may well be more, but these are the forms I have come across up to this point. And to be honest, I think we have plenty to work with right here.

In summary, the Sonnetina Due is:

  • A decastich (10-line poem) written in five couplets, usually with no spaces between.
  • There is no set line length or rhythm, although they are usually written in iambic tetrameter or pentameter.
  • They may be unrhymed, but if rhymed, the rhyme scheme is aabbccddee.

Continue reading “10-line Poem Challenge #31: Sonnetina Due”

Rain

Raindrops umbrella, Milton (1b)Sun hides his face
Permitting privacy
For the clouds that swell and spill
A gentle rain

My mood is moot
For whether glad, or mad, or sad,
The rains will come
Like bane and blessing
Night and day

Learn to find comfort in rain.

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The Lonely Albino

 

An ambitious, amazing, attractive albino
Somehow got caught up with a derelict whino.
While boldly banging a broken banjo,
His derelict friend copied pictures of Van Gogh.
Then chowing calmly on cold calamari,
They both made a wish on the night sky so starry.
But daily disputing, a deep, dark discussion
Ended their friendship with great repercussion.
Now his endless, eccentric, egregious echo
Is only returned by a colorless gecko.

house gecko catching his supper

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T-Boned

car accident, EMS on the scene

“This is really happening”—turn and dash
Then came the crash
“What on earth was on her mind?” Through the light
Caused such a fright
Slammed the brakes and pressed them hard—car destroyed
Airbags deployed
Still alive, and conscious still—but the pain
The mounting pain!
Though healing will be long, yet I foretell
All will be well.

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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.

Continue reading “10-line Poem Challenge #30: Sonnetina Tre”

Ladies’ Night Out

Friday had come—pay day,
Ladies’ night out for the three musketeers,
Or so they’ve been nick-named by their husbands.
A car with two boisterous women inside pulled up the driveway.
The horn honked raucously.
A younger woman came out of the house and climbed in
While waving goodbye to Mr. Goodbar, the nosy neighbor,
And the three musketeers were off.

Turning onto Fifth Avenue,
They arrived at their favorite shopping mall and piled out.
Wandering store to store, the women relived their teen years once again.
Doris found herself a new dress.
Kit-Kat (Katherine) got lost in mounds of classic movies.
And the youngest of the trio, Baby Ruth,
Was selected to receive a free mani-pedi!
To celebrate, her girlfriends took her to the jewelry store for something special.

Hours later, Mr. Goodbar could hear snickers, giggles, and chuckles
As the car returned to the driveway.
Baby Ruth got out and said good night to her friends,
Then entered the house and called out,
“Oh, Henry! You won’t believe what I found tonight!
Isn’t it lovely!”

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