Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary
Wow, we are almost at the end of our challenge! What a surprise. This week has flown by so fast, and been such fun! Not quite caught up to where we are? You can still catch the instant replay here.
Wow, we really have done a lot in a short period of time! But we aren`t done yet. Nope, not at all. We still have two whole days of awesomeness left here, and we are going to finish with a bang!
So, what`s next on the agenda? Possibly the most difficult day of the challenge yet. Today, we are going to go beyond the world of the freeverse. We are going to explore the world of structured poems today. I know, the feeling of facing the impossible just crept up on you, didn`t it? No fears. We are going to find at least one structured poem that you can do. So let`s go!
There are a few options out there that fall into the category of structured poems. But let`s work with the most basic for now, all right? Here there are, in all their shining glory.
I know that it all seems really scary, but I promise you, you can do at least one of these! I chose these specifically because they are known as being the most beginner friendly.
Let`s start with an example, so you have some idea of where you are going here. This is part of a famous poem, The Tyger, by William Blake. I would caution you, however, with the knowledge that this poem doesn`t actually follow the rules of a quatrain properly, it is jut rather close.
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Now, as this is a quatrain, it is part of a longer poem. The quatrain was invented to help minstrels and lore keepers memorize long poems and songs by following a set rule of symmetry and basic line length so the memory can easily catch hold of each word and line. The rules are that a quatrain, regardless of whether you choose to make it cheerful or serious, must be in an AA BB rhyming pattern, which is to say, two couplets stuck together. So the AA part is where ‘bright’ and ‘night’ rhyme, and the BB is the messy part. I guess if you used a weird accent ‘eye’ and ‘symmetry’ could rhyme, but it`s a bit of a stretch. Either way, in the ideal world of quatrains, the first two lines rhyme with each other, and the second two lines rhyme with each other, though it is technically flexible on the BB rhyming part. You know what? Forget that. Let`s just say the parts that should rhyme, should, and the parts that shouldn`t, shouldn`t.
Who doesn`t love the tongue-in-cheek style of a limerick? I`ll admit, I`m never really good at this one, but it is still fun to try it and to read other`s! The basic rule for a limerick is twofold: AABA, and funny. Can you manage the funny part? I found a list of examples, and I thought this particular one was rather funny. I`ll admit, I was thinking of my father when I read it. Maybe it will be in his next birthday card :)
You’ve conquered the aging disease
that brings lesser men to their knees.
You’re a vigorous man
and you’ve proved you still can
blow your candles with only one wheeze.
The haiku is a syllable based poem. The 1st line has five syllables, the 2nd seven, the 3rd five again. The theme of a haiku is nature. I`m actually known as being an improper haiku maker, according to my highschool Japanese teacher, because I didn`t use classic Japanese themes of nature in mine. I guess the combination of a tricky poetic style and foreign language was too much for me to handle! However, I`m quick assured in the American interpretation of the art of haiku making, and I think you will find that you can manage as well.
As I understand it, where the Americans find the subject of nature to be the main point of a haiku, the Japanese find the inclusion of juxtaposed ideas (comparing two completely different ideas) to be the whole point of the matter. When using English letters or another foreign language, you will want to follow the three lines rules rather strictly. Only when using actual kanji (the third Japanese alphabet) will you want to put everything in a straight line. Now, I know this is all rather complicated to figure out without giving you visual aid, so let`s see some examples!
The birds and I
Pretend it’s spring
This lovely example was pulled straight from The Daily Haiku, an online literature magazine for- you guessed it- haiku poems. I think I`m going to be visiting this one again sometime soon. Regardless, you have now seen a fun and quick little haiku, and you can feel free to stretch the rules if you want to. That`s what being creative is about, right?
Please share any links to other examples or even your own in the links below. I love poems, and I`d love to read more! And if you can recommend any other sites like The Daily Haiku, you know I`d love you forever.